WALKER — The town plans to officially make the transition to being a city in September, ending a 102-year-old progression from incorporation as a village to its newly achieved status.
The Board of Aldermen agreed Monday to consider and set for public hearing a proposed ordinance that would change Walker’s official municipal classification from “Town of Walker” to “City of Walker.”
Aldermen are expected to give their final approval to the change after a public hearing at their next meeting set for 7 p.m. Sept. 5.
The move comes after municipal officials received an official proclamation from the office of Gov. Bobby Jindal certifying that Walker’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 census, has reached 6,138 persons.
To qualify as a city, a municipal entity must have at least 5,000 residents.
“This is a moment in history,” Mayor Bobby Font said. “We submitted our request to the governor’s office to certify us as a city and all the proper papers have been returned certifying that we are now a city.”
A state historic marker on the grounds of Walker’s Municipal Building notes that settlers began to put down roots in the area just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.
In 1909, the settlement was chartered by the state as a village.
Eventually, Walker became a town and it will be a city in a little less than a month.
Other matters acted upon by the aldermen included:
SEWAGE PLANT: Aldermen voted to award Tullier Services a $658,000 contract to install a new ultraviolet system at the municipal sewage treatment plant.
Chief of Staff Fred Raiford said it would replace the present outdated system by using more modern, less expensive bulbs that last longer than the present equipment and can be obtained on the local market.
Work should be completed in about six months, he said.
WATER GRANT: Aldermen authorized the mayor to seek a $300,000 Delta Regional Authority grant to help drill a new water well and erect a water tower near the site of the new Our Lady of the Lake Hospital complex just south of Interstate 12.
CONSERVATION GRANT: Aldermen approved a plan for making use of a $48,639 grant from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
The money will be used to install more energy-efficient light fixtures at Town Hall, the Police Department and the new Department of Public Works Building.
The contract was awarded to BJM Construction.