Grambling Council approves wastewater renovation plant plans

Pictured is engineering consultant Henry Shuler talking to the Grambling City Council Thursday night as Councilman Jerry Lewis listens in the foreground. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

The city of Grambling expects renovations to the wastewater collection system lift station off of Green Road and Highway 80 is slated to receive official authorization next month.

That comes after the Grambling City Council approved a motion during Thursday night’s monthly meeting to award a contract to Dixie Overland Construction of Sibley to make those renovations while using American Rescue Plan Allocation funding to make up the difference.

Dixie Overland Construction will receive $90,000 for the low bid it submitted for the project from State of Louisiana Appropriations while the remaining $20,915.08 for the $110,915.08 project will be paid from the city’s ARPA funds. 

“That lift station has certainly been a problem for the city,” said engineer Henry Shuler of Schuler Consulting as he explained the project to the city council. “The city received appropriations funds — that’s 100% grant funding from the state specifically for that station. The construction funds available for that project is $90,000 … We got three bids and the one from Dixie Overland Construction was the lowest of the three. 

“It is my recommendation to not start cutting when you’re about to start getting brand new stuff for the other lift stations. Why would we shortchange that one? So I would recommend that you leave it alone – let’s not start chopping on it and there are certainly unallocated funds from the city’s ARPA allocation that can fund the difference of about $20 grand.”

The Grambling City Council also approved Planning and Zoning Director Mary Gipson’s request to approve the appointment of five new members to the P&Z Board after losing three members – Lloyd White, who passed away; Doug Porter, who stepped down for health reasons; and Jerry Lewis, who was elected as a Grambling Councilman who took his oath of office and began serving on Jan. 1.

Gibson said that while the board previously worked with five members, it was felt that it could best operate with seven members.

Those new members to the Planning and Zoning Board approved by the city council Thursday night were Deshandlyn Chamber, Ulrica Edwards, Mark Hunter, Marvin McCarter and Gregory Williams. They’ll join Gipson and Carl McCarter to round out Grambling’s new P&Z Board.

In other business, during his report Grambling Police Chief Tommy Clark urged city residents to remember to lock their vehicles to do ongoing snatch and grab burglaries of unlocked cars.

“We’re still having a lot of theft calls from vehicles that were unlocked or had visible valuables in the vehicle,” Clark said. “These are crimes of opportunity where the thieves are just pulling handles looking for open cars.”

Clark told the city council that the GDP worked 1,504 calls of service in 2022 and received “an unaudited” amount of $327,294.31 for fines and bonds.

Grambling Fire Department Consulting Chief Tommie Woods told the council the GFD worked 292 medical emergencies, 72 fires and had 44 false alarm calls for a total of 408 incidents responded to in 2022.