Hammond council authorizes funds for sewer projects

The City Council approved spending $1.6 million in state and matching local funds Tuesday to improve the city’s sewer system.

Mayor Mayson Foster said one of the projects should help with periodic odors arising from the city’s pre-treatment wastewater plant on Fagan Drive, a heavily traveled Hammond thoroughfare. That project will be financed by $900,000 in state capital outlay funds with a matching expenditure of $300,000 from the city.

Foster said the project is designed to help remedy the problem of storm water entering the sewer system.

“We do hope that this will help with the odor problems at our settlement plant,” Foster said. “This project, coupled with the $5 million approved earlier to help keep storm water out of the sewer system serving the older part of Hammond should limit the flow of rain water into our treatment plant allowing for better processing of the sewer that passes through there.”

City Engineer Chuck Spangler said the city’s pre-treatment plant is designed to process about 4.1 million gallons of sewage a day but as much as 11 million gallons flows through the plant during periods of heavy rainfall.

The increased volume does not allow for full treatment of wastes, he said.

Residents and business owners in the area of the treatment plant have complained over the past several years about noxious odors from the facility.

The council also authorized spending $300,000 in state capital outlay funds, coupled with a $100,000 grant from the city, to bring the Pine Hill Sewer System into the city’s system.

About 80 residences in the Pine Hill area, near the city’s western limits, are being served by a sewer system managed by a Baton Rouge company.

In other business, the council introduced and set for public hearing an ordinance that would allow the Hammond Police Department to transfer up to $45,000 from its court witness fund to renovations now underway on a new police headquarters at the old Hancock Bank Building on South Oak Street.

The renovations, expected to be finished in several months, will allow the Police Department to consolidate all of its activities into one building.