Ascension considers $550,000 loan to utilities district

Ascension Parish Council members will vote at their next meeting on granting a proposed $550,000 loan to the parish’s consolidated utilities district on the west bank.

During Thursday’s regular meeting, the council agreed to set a public hearing and vote on a proposed ordinance calling for an intergovernmental agreement between the two entities for the purchase of $550,000 in general revenue bonds.

According to the introduced ordinance, Ascension Consolidated Utilities District No. 1 is working to acquire and construct water facilities aimed at improving and extending services.

“The district’s recent program of improvements to the system has met with cost overruns and unforeseen expenses that affect the capacity of the district to timely meet its obligations,” the ordinance reads.

According to the proposed agreement, the district would have 10 years to repay the loan, at an annual interest rate of 4 percent.

The utilities district provides water services to residents of the parish’s unincorporated west bank.

Other matters considered by the council included:

WIND PROJECT: Council members voted to extend by 60 days a project to retrofit wind prevention improvements at Dutchtown High School.

Parish Grants Coordinator Martha Collins said that a change order was requested because of a back order on necessary materials that will be used to help protect the campus from flooding.

Dutchtown High is the parish’s designated shelter location in the case of severe weather conditions, Parish President Tommy Martinez said.

Similar wind retrofitting was previously added to the parish government offices in Gonzales, Collins said.