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Beginning early December, gas lines and meters will be replaced in Gilbert by Atmos Energy officials, said Mayor Michael Stephens.

The project is expected to take 18 months with major construction throughout Gilbert.

“Atmos will lay and tap lines one at a time,” Stephens said. “If gas is turned off at a person’s house, it will be turned back on the same day. Nobody should be without gas overnight.”

Atmos Energy Corporation is a natural-gas-only distributor and serves approximately three million customers in more than 1,400 communities in nine states.

On another front, a full application for a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) was turned in Nov. 21.

Gilbert is one of 60 applicants in the second stage to apply for part of $20 million allocated by the Office of Community Development. Funding will be announced in April.

If Gilbert receives funding, officials will use proceeds to repair sewer lines on Third and Fourth streets, install an additional lift station, refurbish current lift stations and repair manholes, Stephens said.

Estimated project cost is some $2 million and may be broken into three or four phases, Stephens said.

“It is a very good possibility we will receive some of this funding,” Stephens said. “This is the closest (Gilbert) has come to getting (LCDBG) funding.”

On a related topic, four fire hydrants will be repaired and new water meters will continue to be installed in Gilbert using money from a Community Water Enrichment Fund (CWEF) grant.

“Gilbert should have all new water meters by early next year,” Stephens said.

Additionally, a new town truck was purchased using Local Government Assistance Program (LGAP) funds.

Meanwhile, Gilbert’s leash law is being enforced with Winnsboro’s help, Stephens said.

Recently, Winnsboro officials caught five dogs not on a leash near Gilbert School.

“The dog catcher from Winnsboro will be coming periodically, riding the streets to catch dogs that are out without a leash,” Stephens said. “I appreciate the mayor and Winnsboro for helping us with this problem.”

Gilbert’s ordinance states dogs are required to be leashed with a chain or cord and attached to a collar if they are not secured in a fence. Each yard should have only one dog pen and must be located 20 feet from the property line. Each pen must have a sheltered area and cleaned daily. Dog pens with more than two dogs must be on concrete and have lines to the city sewer system. Dogs 25 pounds or heavier on a leash must have a muzzle.

On a different note, Stephens said town crews will continue a Gilbert tradition by hanging decorations after Thanksgiving.

“Everything is looking good, and we are about to get ready for the holidays,” Stephens said. “We will start putting our Christmas decorations out after Thanksgiving.”

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