BROUSSARD — The Broussard City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to accept a $600,000 grant from the Louisiana Community Block Grant Street Improvements Program.
Mayor Charles Langlinais said the money will be applied toward a $1.1 million project to overlay about 50 streets between Morgan Street, Albertson’s Parkway and U.S. 90 in an older part of the community.
Langlinais said the money will be added to the city’s $1 million street improvement budget for 2012-13, elevating the total budget for that year to $1.6 million.
He said accepting the money will also have the positive effect of moving other Broussard street projects up on state lists for state and federal highway road projects because the CDBG funds can only be used on municipal streets.
FEE LOWERED: In other business, the city voted unanimously to lower reconnection fees for city water from $75 to $35.
Councilman Johnnie Foco said he heard arguments for and against the measure, then asked if the move was really necessary and how many people it would effect.
Langlinais said before the fee was raised from $20 four or five years ago, about 200 people were regularly late paying bills and regularly requiring reconnections.
That number dropped to about 20 monthly after the fees were increased.
By raising the reconnection fee for water, sewerage and garbage, residents were motivated to pay bills on time.
City Clerk Tina Emert said the average bill is about $40 and she added it was always the same people who were late paying bills.
“It is always the same people over and over again,” she said. “Some have problems and call and ask for an extension, which is not a problem. But some just do not come in and pay their bills.”
The council then agreed to lower the bill to $35, an amount high enough to motivate residents to pay bills on time while not creating an unnecessary burden on those who find it most difficult to pay water and sewer bills.