LIVINGSTON - While the saga over who's to man the board of the water district has just begun, for the time being the utility will expand to encompass Port Vincent.
A unanimous vote by the council last Thursday night increased the scope of the district by roughly 400 customers, and sent it south to take in the town from which it recently purchased a water well.
"This is a good move, this is good for the citizens of Port Vincent," said parish councilman John Wascom (District 4). "I've heard a lot of complaints about their water, and this will help."
Parish Councilman Garry 'Frog' Talbert, who has three appointments on the five-person board, said that the expansion comes as Ward II is 'doing good business' and 'operating well.'
However, concern over the number of board members and who appoints them were raised at the council meeting. Wascom, specifically, introduced a resolution to request the legislature to expand the board to 7 spots.
"It's just good and responsible government," Wascom said.
"So let me get this straight, you want to expand government?" Talbert quipped.
Despite the request by Wascom, he himself also cited a state law which says that if any municipality be encompassed by a utility company the board should required seven spots.
Wascom did not produce the law for the public at the meeting.
"If state law says it, there's no reasons to pass anything else," Talbert said.
Wascom's district is currently the least-served by Ward II water, while Tab Lobell (District 8) and Shane Mack (District 9) aren't served at all. Much of Wascom's district consists of the city limits of Denham Springs, which provides it's own water.
The service break down is:
- Jeff Ard (District 1) - 1,827
- Garry Talbert (District 2) - 6,974
- Maurice Keen (District 3) - 4,563
- John Wascom (District 4) - 452
- Bubba Harris (District 5) - 1,726
- Jeff Averett (District 6) - 2,706
- Tracy Girlinghouse (District 7) - 3,127
Keen, of District 3, is the second-most served area but said he was 'fine' with the way the board appointments worked because his constituents were getting good water.
Despite the discussion surrounding state law and Keen's suggesting that the board operated well, the council approved making a request of the legislature to expand the board, 7-2.