Sorrento to address sewerage

Wade McIntyre

SORRENTO – The Town Council met in a special meeting after press time Thursday to discuss raising the levees of its sewer pond.

The meeting follows discussions at the regular meeting Tuesday about the possibility of the pond running over and causing potential fines from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

During the regular session, Councilman Randy Anny said he had notified the DEQ that two of the sewer ponds ran over on April 3, and that the town planned to fix levees around the ponds that had caved in.

Anny said he requested bids for the work, due to the emergency situation.

Bid requests for work under $100,000 can be non-advertised, and the town received three sealed bids which were opened at the meeting by Mayor Brenda Melancon.

All bids, however, well over the threshold. The lowest bid came in at $280,000.

Anny said the town could be subjected to DEQ fines as high as $30,000 per day if the ponds run over again.

In addition to the caved in levees, Anny said he suspects that a trailer park located outside the town limits that is hooked up to the Sorrento’s sewerage system is causing the problem.

Oakwood Estates located on Melancon Street has been discussed in numerous town council due to suspected leaks in its drainage pipes which absorb rainwater and contribute to the pond flooding.

Mayor Brenda Melancon said at the Tuesday meeting she had visited the village and observed raw sewage on toilet paper in the park. She said the park has grown from around 15 trailers when it opened to more than 50 now.

The council is expected to discuss at the special meeting choosing a bid for the levee work without advertising for a bid because of the emergency nature of the work.

In unrelated business, the council hired Judy Killian to a full-time clerical position in the Police Department. Melancon said she was chosen from 72 applicants for the job. Killian is a former fraud investigator for the state.