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Construction Deal XXL

Womack and Sons Construction Group will handle the process of connecting Ridgecrest’s water system to Ferriday’s.

Ridgecrest aldermen hired the company at their regular meeting Tuesday night following the recommendation of Keith Capdepon, engineer with Bryant Hammett & Associates, LLC.

Womack and Sons Construction Group of Harrisonburg was apparent low bidder at $917,584 beating out Greenbriar Digging Services’ bid of $942,493. Greenbriar, based out of Brookhaven, was the only other company to bid on the work.

“Both bids were within the funds available,” Capdepon said. “I think we were real fortunate.”

Engineers estimated cost for the project was $1.016 million.

Ridgecrest will pay for the improvement from nearly $1 million Louisiana Community Development Block Grant.

Meanwhile, Ridgecrest’s Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) was lowered from a six to five.

“You went from a six to a five and almost a four,” said Fire Chief Vick Brown. “There is nothing guaranteed but there are some more things that can be done to get it to go down more,” Brown said.

PIAL is a private, non-profit group composed of all insurance companies licensed to write fire and other Louisiana coverages. Founded in 1888, PIAL is funded solely by assessment of its member companies.

During the inspection, PIAL officials check water supply, fire hydrants, training and comb through the fire department’s paperwork. Inspections are every four years.

Insurance companies use information obtained from the rating to develop premium costs for commercial properties and residential properties in Ridgecrest.

“When we get this new water system up we will hopefully get the four,” said Mayor Veller Ray Carroll.

By tying into Ferriday’s water system, Ridgecrest will have enough pressure to properly flush out its hydrants possibly improving its score.

Additionally, council members questioned Dr. Dennis LaRavia, Concordia Parish Coroner, about costs associated with his office.

“The law is not on your side,” LaRavia said as his handed Carroll a copy of Louisiana statues dealing with coroner charges.

According to Louisiana law, coroners receive money from every investigation, for viewing bodies, for autopsies and for fees dealing with commitment of mental or incompetent cases within a municipality’s corporate limits.

The law also states the coroner will receive compensation for any physical or mental examination when requested by the district attorney, judge, sheriff or chief of police.

Aldermen Rita Boyler argued Ridgecrest was getting bills for people who did not live in the village. LaRavia answered his office goes by the address on the drivers licenses.

“This is the law,” LaRavia said. “You don’t pay for anything other than Ridgecrest. We struggle to have enough money to pay for anything. I take my salary to pay for the investigators.”

Ridgecrest owes the Concordia Parish Coroner’s office $1,300, according to LaRavia.

In other business, aldermen approved Delta Glass business license and an occupational license for Griggs Pressure Washing Service.

They also approved an $800 overhead shop door for the water plant.

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