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Water tower off Taylor Street, seen  Jan. 8, 2019 in Clinton, where residents and business owners have been impacted by ongoing water quality issues.

CLINTON — Directors of the East Feliciana Rural Water System are scheduled this week to review and possibly approve a draft agreement for the cooperative to take over the town of Clinton's water system, a consultant told the Board of Alderman on Tuesday.

Jason Head of Thornton, Musso and Bellemin, of Zachary, said he expects the cooperative's board to approve the agreement and forward it to the town for the board's approval.

State health officials also must accept the agreement before it can be finalized, Head said.

Mayor Mark Kemp said he thinks the final agreement can be approved by about March 1, at which time the water district can apply for a low-interest $2.5 million loan to improve the town's system and make other improvements in the rural district.

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Head said attorneys for the town are working with a lawyer for the Johnson family of Clinton for a needed servitude for the road leading to the water tower and well on Taylor Street.

Head also reported that state officials appear to be open to providing funds for the district to cap an unused water well near the town hall and to tear down the old water tower at the site.

The water tower demolition likely will be costly because the structure probably has lead-based paint on it, but the state funds will cover the costs, he said.

"It won't be a burden on you," he said, but warned the tower and tank eventually will collapse if not removed.

After the state found the town's system out of compliance with state health regulations last year, health officials pushed the water cooperative and the town to merge their systems under the co-op's direction.

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In other action, the board:

  • Appointed Russ Hicks to be the town's flood plain administrator to allow him to apply for federal grants under a regional initiative involving East Feliciana and other southeast Louisiana parishes. Hicks has a similar position with the Police Jury, but he said most of the property eligible for flood mitigation funding is in the town.
  • Declined to waive $1,375 in fees for the Feliciana Friends and Family Committee to have its annual Mardi Gras parade on Jan. 25. The fees are supposed to cover the town's expenses for security and post-parade street cleaning.
  • Agreed with Kemp to repair a water leak near a car wash on La. 67 that has been a problem for months. The mayor said a contractor has agreed to bore under a concrete apron to make the repair. Kemp said the leak is "a visible flow."