$27.4 million in grants for Louisiana natural gas infrastructure announced in Donaldsonville
Smaller communities in Louisiana received $27.4 million to modernize high-risk natural gas distribution pipes.
The Louisiana recipients of the funding included: the City of Donaldsonville, the City of Alexandria, the City of Carencro, the City of Morgan City, Gas Utility District #2 of East Feliciana, the Town of Woodworth, and the Village of Montpelier.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration held a news conference along with elected officials at the Lemann Memorial Center in Donaldsonville the afternoon of April 6 to announce the grant, which was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Speakers included Louisiana U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, U.S. Rep. Troy Carter and officials from the municipalities.
"I am bullish on the future of Louisiana," Cassidy said. "We have got to catch our infrastructure up to 2023. We have to build the economy for the future. If we do that, not only will our people stay here, but others will move here as well."
Cassidy said Louisiana was tabbed to get the most funding through the grant program, which was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
It provides nearly $200 million a year for a total of nearly $1 billion over five years for the modernization of municipality- and community-owned natural gas distribution infrastructure, according to a news release from PHMSA.
"We recognize our small communities are as important as our bigger communities," said Carter, who represents Louisiana's 2nd congressional district.
He recalled a previous conversation he had years ago with Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan about concerns over the Ascension Parish westbank city's aging natural gas pipes.
"Today, we're bringing resources to fix that," Carter said.
Sullivan recognized the officials in attendance as well as the employees of the City of Donaldsonville.
He also recalled a fatal fire years ago caused by a gas leak.
"I vowed then that if it was in my power, I would do everything I could so it would never happen again. I thank God it never did. I thank God even more that we are receiving money so it will never happen in the City of Donaldsonville again," Sullivan said.
During Sullivan's remarks, Carter surprised him by revealing the city received $10 million.
The grant award amounts were:
- $10 million for the City of Donaldsonville
- $825,576 for Gas Utility District 2 of East Feliciana
- $6,882,339 for the City of Morgan City
- $3,300,600 for the City of Alexandria
- $3,445,760 for the City of Carencro
- $2,064,007 for the Town of Woodsworth
- $872,613 for the Village of Montpelier
Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.