Gramercy Mayor Terry Borne says voter approval of a 4.70-mill property tax renewal proposition would result in an upgraded water treatment plant for town residents and a chance to take advantage of $500,000 in savings on the $1.5 million project.

Voters are being asked to approve a proposition on the April 6 ballot authorizing the town to sell up to $1.5 million in bonds and extend a 4.70-mill tax first adopted in 2003 for up to 20 years, Borne said.

The money would be used to pay for upgrades and improvements to the town’s 30-year-old water treatment facility, Borne said.

Filters, piping, valves, pumps, an electrical system and the “overcrowded, unsafe work building” will be upgraded under the proposed project, Borne said.

The mayor said the town already has received approval of a $240,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority. In addition, participation in the state Department of Health and Hospitals’ drinking water revolving loan fund will save 30 percent, or $300,000, of the repayment cost.

“If we don’t pass this tax, we’ll lose this free money,” Borne said.

Borne said the repairs and upgrades should be complete within a year of the start date and all plans and needed permits are in place “and ready to go.”

“This project will also enhance our capability to provide emergency potable water to our neighboring town, Lutcher, and our government seat, St. James Parish, if the need arises,” he said.

The tax produces an estimated $70,000 in revenue a year, he said.

Residents owning a home valued at $100,000 would continue to pay $47 a year for the 4.70-mill property tax. The millage is a municipal tax and not subject to homestead exemption, a spokeswoman with the St. James Parish Assessor’s Office said.

Early voting starts Saturday.

Gramercy voters can cast ballots at the Registrar of Voters Office on the third floor of the St. James Parish Courthouse, 5800 La. 44, Convent, or at the courthouse annex, 2631 La. 20 W., Vacherie.