July 1, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. — The state of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit has awarded $5,004,500 in disaster recovery funding to Ascension Parish for the consolidation of sewer services in unincorporated areas, allowing parish officials to access federal Community Development Block Grant funds needed to implement the project.
The money will be used to buy 14 acres for rights-of-way and allow the parish to lay new lines and build associated lift stations to consolidate sewer services in unincorporated areas of the parish, primarily in the communities of Hillaryville, Darrow, Astroland and St. Elmo.
Of the 339 homes in the target area, approximately 201 will be tied into the new system.
OCD-DRU Interim Executive Director Pat Forbes said, “After Hurricane Gustav, residents in this area of Ascension Parish were without sewage treatment services for as long as two weeks because they were not connected to a major treatment facility. In the case of future emergencies in these communities, being connected to the consolidated system will enable citizens and businesses to recover more quickly and return to normal conditions as quickly as possible.”
Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said, “This disaster recovery funding will not only play an integral part as the foundation for providing sewage treatment services for residents of these communities, but in the long run, this project will also become part of our larger plan to provide services parish wide.”
The storm’s impact on the unincorporated sewer facilities in these areas delayed recovery and posed a threat to the health and welfare of residents and the natural environment.
The consolidation project will replace the community-operated facilities and in some cases, supply services for the first time to individuals who are operating their own systems. The existing plant at Hillaryville has the capacity to handle these additional residents and will serve as the regional treatment facility.
Consolidating the sewer service will require the design and construction of a network of gravity sewer lines, force main sewer lines and a collection system of lift stations, as well as connections to the central wastewater treatment facility and discharge lines.
The funding is part of more than $1 billion in disaster recovery Community Development Block Grant money received by the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for damages inflicted by Gustav and Ike.
In total, the OCD-DRU has allocated $19,370,564 in Gustav-Ike disaster recovery funding to Ascension Parish.
The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.