Speedsters in Ridgecrest must pay their fines or face possible jail time and additional costs, according to Mayor Veller Ray Carroll.

Ridgecrest published last week in the Concordia Sentinela list of people who owe the village money from fines dating back as far as a year. The list of approximately 50 people owe a total of $24,000 in fines. Some names are listed two or three different times signaling multiple tickets.

“They haven’t paid their fines or showed up for court,” Carroll said. “They can come and talk with me, and we can possibly set up notes for them.”

Carroll said along with missing proceeds from tickets, Ridgecrest police department was trying to slow speedsters down.

“They’re not taking speed limits in Ridgecrest seriously,” Carroll said. “We’re going to slow them down one way or the other. It might just be slowing their wallet down.”

Meanwhile, Ridgecrest water department is transitioning to a new water collection system as a Nov. 23 groundbreaking ceremony approaches for the village’s tie in with Ferriday.

In Tuesday’s regular Town Council meeting, aldermen approved a measure allowing JCP Management Inc. to take over billing and collecting water bills.

“This is going to cost the town $350 more, but it will be less of a headache,” Carroll said.

According to Carroll, it has been difficult to fill the water clerk position at town hall and JCP will “lessen the headache” by taking over the hiring position. The village will still have to turn on and off water meters.

Under the newly passed measure, JCP will provide an employee on site for three days a week; collect, enter and process payments; deposit collected funds; answer phones; creating, dispatch and manage work orders; enter meter readings; print and mail bills; generate disconnect lists; process new service applications; provide access to online payments; and set up an after-hours 1-800 emergency number.

Ridgecrest will have to provide postage and billing cards.

Monthly cost for the new service is an average $11.50 per meter with an estimated average monthly cost of $2,875.

Ridgecrest will keep a clerk in office five days a week handling other village business.

Alderwomen Mitzi Boyler and Darlene Humphries voted for the measure and Alderwoman Deborah Barrett voted against.

In related news, Ridgecrest will host ground breaking ceremonies Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. at its park for the Ferriday water system tie in.

To improve its water conditions, Ridgecrest is planning a major line tie it with Ferriday.

Womack and Sons Construction Group will handle the process of connecting Ridgecrest’s water system to Ferriday. Womack and Sons Construction Group of Harrisonburg was low bidder for the project at $917,584.

A nearly $1 million Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) will bankroll the tie in.

Money will also be used to purchase and install a new ground storage tank, purchase new radio-controlled water meters and install a handicap bathroom in city hall. The water line will run down Vidalia Drive.

Also connected to Ridgecrest utilities, Bryant Hammett & Associates was named the engineer for the refurbishment of the Ferriday Street Sewer Lift Station. The project will be funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds totaling $111,000.

Additionally, alderman approved Hometown Waste as their garbage collector for the next four years after they were apparent low bidder.

Hometown Waste will collect garbage in Ridgecrest for $12.43 per house for the first year with rates going up no more than 3 percent. Hometown is set to take over the duties Feb. 1.

Waste Pro was the only other bidder and is Ridgecrest’s current provider.

In other action, alderman approved reinstating a $60 a month expense payment for the mayor.

Carroll also announced the Christmas parade will be held Dec. 10, ending at the park with pictures with Santa, cookies and drinks. The Christmas light competition will be judged on Dec. 8 with the announcement of the winner to be held at the park.

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