Officials break ground on the Village of Maurice’s new wastewater treatment facility Thursday morning. Taking part in the ground breaking are (L-R) Mayor Wayne Theriot, Dr. Carrie Castille, Louisiana State Director for Rural Development for the USDA, Maurice Alderman Kenneth “Keno” Picard, Chief of Police-elect Guy Nerren, Todd Vincent of Sellers & Associates, Chris Dardeau of Gulf Coast Bank and Martin Walke of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority. The new facility is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020.
Dr. Carrie Castille (left) of the USDA talks about the project prior to the groundbreaking.
Maurice, USDA break ground on new water treatment plant
MAURICE — It may not be the most exciting part, but proper infrastructure is a key aspect of any community’s growth.
For the Village of Maurice, growth, especially residentially, has been astronomical in the last few years.
Making sure infrastructure can sustain Maurice’s growth well into the future, officials broke ground Thursday morning on a wastewater treatment facility. That new facility, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020, will be located on Beau Road.
“We’re the fifth fastest growing community in all of Louisiana,” Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot said Thursday morning. “That growth necessitates us to improve our infrastructure for water and sewer.
“Hopefully this will be able to service us for many years to come.”
Helping to make this possible is $8.2 million through the USDA Water & Waste Disposal Loan Program.
Dr. Carrie Castille, Louisiana State Director for Rural Development for the USDA, said the USDA appreciates the role it has played in helping Maurice properly expand.
“We have a long-standing history working with the Village of Maurice,” Dr. Castille said before the groundbreaking. “We had a project in 2008 and project in ‘10. We are funded this one in ‘17. The whole goal is to be able to provide that valuable and critical infrastructure for our rural communities.
“We’re so glad that the Village of Maurice has the confidence to come back to us. We want to see our small, rural communities grow and prosper. I think this is a testament to the work we do and the communities we serve.”
The village’s current wastewater facility came online in ‘11.
“That facility had room for expansion,” Theriot said, “but nobody could have ever imagined what we would go through the growth that we have right now.”
Officials began to take note in early ‘15. Todd Vincent of Sellers & Associates, who serves as the village’s engineer, said the pace of lots approved for new homes led to a more in-depth look at the wastewater capacity.
“Subdivisions with approximately 110 lots had been approved,” Vincent said. “There was some concern that the sewer and water treatment capacity was being approached. Capacity analysis results showed approximately 100 additional lots could be accommodated by the existing system over and above the lots that had been approved.
“Since that time, approximately 201 lots are in various stages of construction and an additional 120 lots are in the planning stage.”
Earlier this year, the Maurice Board of Aldermen voted to place a moratorium on new residential building permits. That moratorium will end once the Beau Road facility goes online.
Permits obtained before the moratorium being implemented were not affected. To accommodate that continuing development, an interim package sewer treatment plant will be built on Beau Road to provide treatment capacity for approximately 62 lots in the first phase of Picard Farms, the new development located off U.S. Hwy. 167. That package plant is expected to be online in March or April of ‘19.
Along with the new facility opening in ‘20, sewer system improvements will be part of the entire project. That includes rerouting of the pump station on the Cecil Picard Elementary School property and a significant renovation and rerouting of the Etienne Street pump station.
“This will reduce the loading to the (current) north side plant,” Vincent explained, “and provide start uploading for the new south plant (on Beau Road).”
The total sewer project budget is $9.2 million. Maurice is paying a little more than $1 million, with financing from the USDA for $8.2 million. The loan will be repaid using a combination of user fees and sales tax revenue. Helping to cover interim financing are Gulf Coast Bank and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA).
“We want to thank the USDA for providing financing for this,” Theriot said, “as well as Gulf Coast Bank and the LPFA for providing interim financing, allowing us to do all of this.
“We want to show our appreciation to all of them.”
Once completed, this project will be something that residents and officials decades from now will appreciate, Theriot said.
“This is monumental for us,” Theriot said. “This should be able to handle the village’s growth for the next 25 years.”