BAKER — Seeking to improve Baker's water and sewer systems, city officials are planning to apply for a sliver of the $15 million in federal funds the state is expected to receive next year and $15 million in 2021.
Municipalities can receive up to $2 million each of the two years for water, sewer or road projects, Kevin Gravois, of Professional Engineering Consultants Corp., told the City Council on Tuesday.
Some of the possible projects Baker and Professional Engineering identified include sewer collection repairs, work on the city’s pump stations, water well upkeep and improvements, and tank distribution work, Gravois said.
As part of the grant application process, the city is required to hold two public meetings. One was Tuesday; the second will be scheduled at a later date and held in the Baker Municipal Auditorium on the suggestion of Councilwoman Brenda G. Jackson.
The city will write the grant, which is due July 12, along with Professional Engineering, Mayor Darnell Waites said.
Once the grant writing process has begun, the city and Professional Engineering will decide which projects to pursue and how much money to seek for each.
The council also scheduled a work session at 10 a.m. May 22 to further discuss the grant. A previously scheduled work session lacked a quorum of council members in attendance.
Due to the council members being unable to attend the first work session, the council on Tuesday tabled resolutions supporting the grant application, including one that would authorize the city to pay Professional Engineering up to $45,000 for grant administration in the event the grant is funded.
In other business, the council:
- Introduced the city’s proposed 2019-20 budget. The council will hold a public work session 10 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the spending plan.
- Received a report from Waites concerning a proposed park-and-ride facility on Plank Road in conjunction with the Capital Area Transit System, Capital Region Planning Commission and East Baton Rouge Parish. The planning commission has provided funds for design and environmental work on the site. Waites said the city will put a security deposit on a piece of land on Plank Road and Lavey Lane that it intends to buy and lease to CATS for the facility. The exact amount won’t be determined until negotiations are complete, he said.
- Voted to allow Councilman Charles Vincent to place a Little Free Library in Baker City Park on Groom Road.
- Heard from Councilwoman Glenda Bryant that Grow Baton Rouge will hold a farmers and makers market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 1 at Baker City Park.