Council moves to borrow $5 million to fix Hammond sewers

The City Council gave Mayor Mayson Foster permission Tuesday apply for a $5 million state loan to correct problems in part of the city sewer system.

Grants Director Lacy Landrum said the loan, if approved, would finance repair of sewer system infiltration and inflow problems in the older sections of the city.

Landrum said that much of the sewer system that needs fixing dates many decades and still has outdated clay pipes in service.

The low-interest, 20-year loan sought through Louisiana’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund would be paid off with funds generated through monthly water and sewer usage fees.

Other matters considered by the council included:

POLICE HEADQUARTERS: The council moved forward on two items involving acquisition of a new police headquarters building.

The council agreed to transfer $350,000 from the Club Deluxe Improvement Fund to the Police Department Purchase and Construction Account.

Of that amount, $312,000 will be used to match state funds to purchase the old Hancock Building in downtown Hammond for the new headquarters.

The council then agreed to consider and set for public hearing a proposed ordinance authorizing the actual purchase of the building. The measure will be up for a final vote at the council’s March 5, meeting.

DANGERFIELD AWARDS: The council presented this year’s Wilbert Dangerfield Award of Excellence to the Rev. Samuel C. Brown and the late Rudolph P. Gibson.

Brown, pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist and Mount Pleasant Baptist churches, was cited for his numerous contributions to the community, such as helping the unemployed find jobs, caring for more than 100 Hurricane Katrina evacuees, and conducting a prison ministry.

Gibson served in the Tangipahoa Parish school system for 41 years as a coach, teacher, principal and supervisor. He was a member of a number of state boards, was an African-American Heritage Museum board member, a Greenfield Baptist Church deacon, an active Mason and a Southern University Athletic Hall of Fame honoree.

The council issues the Dangerfield awards annually in memory of the late Wilbert Dangerfield, the first black person to serve on the Hammond City Council.