BAKER — An engineering company official briefed City Council members Tuesday night on a number of sewer and drainage projects under way in northern East Baton Rouge Parish.

Baker is located in an area where 24 projects involving sewer rehabilitation, capacity improvement and wastewater treatment and storage are under way at a cost of $293 million, said Michael Ellis, program manager of CH2M HILL.

All told, about 300 firms are engaged in the $1.3 billion project throughout the parish with completion expected by Dec. 31, 2014, he said.

A continuing program will then be set in place for maintenance, Ellis said.

The project will provide capacity for growth and development, reduce sewer overflows caused by rainfall, protect public health and meet the requirements of a consent decree aimed at upgrading sewer and drainage services, he said.

Other matters coming before the council Tuesday night included:

BAKER-CHINA PACT: The council authorized Mayor Harold Rideau to sign a memorandum of understanding between Baker and the U.S.-China Federal Association of Business Council of Houston and Marshall Investment and Development Inc. of San Francisco.

A trans-Pacific business center is to be established in Baker to display the work of Chinese manufacturers.

It is further proposed that an adviser will be appointed to promote and develop an economic and cultural relationship between Baker and cities in China.

PUBLIC GRAFFITI: An increase of graffiti has been observed around town, especially on stop signs, Public Works Director Julie McCulloch said.

Twenty-five damaged stop signs had to be replaced at a cost of $25 each, she said.

Changing the 11 p.m. curfew to 10 p.m. for children under 17 was suggested as a means of curtailing such graffiti activities, but Police Chief Mike “Snapper” Knaps said he didn’t think it would make a difference.

Police cruisers are more visible patrolling neighborhoods and will apprehend minors engaged in unlawful activities, he said.