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The Ridgecrest Town Council approved a water rate study unanimously passed Aug. 20 that clears the way for a $1 million grant.

The funding from the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) will be used to bypass Ridgecrest’s water plant and tie into Ferriday’s water system.

The worn plant has been producing brown-tinted water for months, causing several boil-water notices and residents relying on bottled water for cooking and drinking.

Last week, residents in parts of Ridgecrest complained of nearly black water coming from faucets. The dark-colored water was due to faulty valves located near the water tower, which was scheduled to be cleaned Friday, according to Mayor Veller Ray Carroll.

With the passage of the water rate study, residential customers will now pay a rate of $64 for the first 1,500 gallons used and $5.65 per 1,000 gallons consumed after the minimum usage.

Commercial customers will now pay a water rate of $45 for the first 1,500 gallons used and $5.65 per 1,000 gallons consumed after the minimum usage.

Prices in the study will be in effect for six years.

In a related utility matter, Carroll explained that Ridgecrest will fund the replacements of several sewer lift stations.

Last year, Ridgecrest received a $25,000 LGAP grant and purchased new sewer lift stations.

A $15,000 grant will be used to finance Womack & Sons of Harrisonburg to install the lift stations. An additional $15,000 grant will be used to purchase new computer hardware and software to read Ridgecrest’s water meters.

In other action, aldermen passed an amendment requiring those seeking occupational licenses in the town to go before aldermen for approval. The amendment passed with Boyler and Deborah Barrett voting yes. Humphries abstained from voting because she owns a Ridgecrest business.

Additionally, aldermen introduced an ordinance prohibiting 18-wheelers in Ridgecrest’s corporate limits. If passed, the ordinance will exclude vehicles pertaining to school and garbage.

“They are tearing up our roads, and they are getting bad,” Carroll said.

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