SORRENTO — The Town Council has decided to hire J&J Engineers Inc., of Baton Rouge, to head a sewer expansion project aimed at serving an area adjacent to Interstate 10 in hopes of attracting new businesses and perhaps a hotel chain to the town.
Mayor Pro Tem Randy Anny told council members Tuesday that town officials want to run a sewer line from Guedry Street to Interstate 10, stopping at the town’s side of the highway.
Anny said providing municipal sewage service to the location would allow new businesses, including a Best Western hotel chain, to move to Sorrento and help spur economic growth by generating increased tax revenue for the town.
Anny said he hoped to have a Best Western representative at the next Town Council meeting scheduled for June 5.
J&J Engineers president Jatinder P. Goel also addressed the council, saying he could produce a price estimate for the sewer expansion in around 10 days.
Goel also said he would then be able to recommend tying the line to an existing line or building a new one.
Councilmen Milton “Needlenose” Vicknair, John Wright, Chad Day, Marvin Martin and Anny all voted to hire J&J Engineers.
Mayor Wilson Longanecker Jr. is still recuperating from foot surgery in February and did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.
Others matters discussed during the meeting included:
NEW COMMITTEES: Anny said the town would send letters soon to residents asking for volunteers to serve with town officials on three new council committees dealing with finances, personnel and procedures.
The committees would help keep procedures transparent and watch over town employees and expenses, including the upcoming sewer project, Anny said.
NEW BUDGET PRESENTED: The proposed 2013 operating budget calls for $2,064,400 in total estimated revenues and $2,034,685 in total estimated expenditures.
The fiscal year 2013 operating budget includes two capital projects, the construction of a new community center and improvements to the town’s sewer system, which accounts for the $763,000 increase in expenditures compared with the 2012 budget.
There will be a public hearing on the budgets at the council’s next meeting, officials said.
POLICE OFFICER HIRED: The Town Council unanimously voted to hire Kermit Givens as a full-time policeman.
Givens, 26, who currently works at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University and a master’s degree from Grambling State University, Assistant Police Chief Billy Ballard said.