June 25, 2015 by Michael Tortorich
The Donaldsonville City Council voted to authorize the Mayor to open a discussion about possibly negotiating a deal with the local water service company.
After discussing the matter during the last Committee of the Whole meeting, Councilmen moved forward Tuesday night with approving of Mayor Leroy Sullivan to communicate with representatives of Peoples Water Service Company.
Sullivan said the move would give him an opportunity to sit down with the company’s personnel and discuss a potential purchase.
The Mayor added that he was told there has “never been a for sale sign” in front of the business, but company representatives would be open to entertaining offers.
According to the company’s web site, Peoples Water Service was formed in 1929 as an investor-owned public water utility. Peoples has owned and operated water plants throughout the southeastern United States, including Louisiana and Florida.
Parish of Ascension officials have expressed interest in striking a deal with the water service company. Parish Council members recently approved of spending up to $5 million to buy the Donaldsonville utility. Through the purchase, parish government seeks to improve infrastructure to expand the utility.
As reported in the Pelican Post earlier, the parish and the company has attempted to work out a deal a year ago with Peoples Water Company, but could not arrive at a price to satisfy both parties.
Peoples Water reportedly has some 3,000 customers inside the city limits of Donaldsonville. The company purifies 3 million gallons of water per day along the Mississippi River. Parish officials have said about a third of that amount is used.
Long term, parish government officials seek to aid the Ascension Consolidated Utilities District, which projected to have more customers than the current total. Parish leaders also anticipate the growth of industries along the river in Ascension, including a proposed industrial zone along the river west of Donaldsonville.
Parish officials discussed the possibility of piping water from the west bank facility to the east bank, providing service to the City of Gonzales.
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Michael Tortorich is part-owner of The Pelican Post. He can be reached through www.michaeltortorich.com.