GONZALES — Homeowners on East Silverleaf Street should be receiving application packets they can fill out if they're interested in pursuing a federal buyout of their homes.

The street, which dead-ends into wetlands, regularly floods.

Gonzales City Engineer Jackie Baumann told City Council members on Monday the applications had been sent electronically this week to the more than 40 homeowners on Silverleaf.

Staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the buyout program, will be on hand at 5 p.m. Aug. 22 at City Hall to answer questions about the application, Baumann said. 

After that, she said, staff members of the Baton Rouge-based Center for Planning Excellence will be meeting one-on-one with Silverleaf residents who need additional help with the application. 

"It's going to be a very involved process," Baumann said of the buyout. "It's going to take time, but it's in full swing now."

In an unrelated matter Monday, Baumann reported that bids will be opened Aug. 24 for the expansion of the city's wastewater treatment facility on Burnside Avenue north of Interstate 10.

The work, which will include another pond at the facility and larger pumps, is the final phase of a three-phase project to upgrade the city's sewer system and is being funded by a loan through the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The city has begun repaying the loan with funds generated by a dedicated half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1989 to improve the sewer system.  

Also, the City Council will be voting in two weeks on a matter introduced Monday that would authorize the city utility department to begin stocking 3-inch water meters for those commercial properties able to use them.

City Clerk Clay Stafford said, if approved, the step would greatly lower the annual wastewater facilities impact fees by some $60,000 a year per business.

The city instituted the impact fees in 2014, but for years has stocked only 2-inch and 4-inch meters for commercial water lines, for simplicity of work and repairs, City Clerk Clay Stafford said after the meeting.

The wastewater facilities impact fee for a 4-inch water meter is $100,658 a year. With a 3-inch water meter, that cost would go down to $41,508 a year. 

Follow Ellyn Couvillion on Twitter, @EllynCouvillion.