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Crews prepare to upgrade Monroe’s water treatment plant

City leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Ground was broken on Monroe’s water treatment plant on August 10. It’s a big step toward the $40 million expansion. Turning the dirt there is a turning point for the city.

“We’ve got the contract in place, we’ve got the funding in place, and this is it, we’re building it,” said City of Monroe engineer Kim Golden.

Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis told everyone this project was first on his list when he took office last year.

“I used to work for the city in engineering. So, I saw firsthand how important these projects are. When we came in and saw this project, we knew we couldn’t drop the ball on this one. And we understood the importance to our community. As far as infrastructure goes, water, flooding, sewer, those were priorities and this was the biggest project on the table,” said Mayor Ellis.

The undertaking adds 12 million gallons of water to the plant and retrofits the 1960s era facility.

“This is a much needed project. We’ve had many close calls over the years with our electrical switch gear and many scares because of that. So, this project is not only going to add capacity to the existing plant, but it’s going to harden the remaining part of the plant and rebuild it to like-new conditions,” explained Public Works Director Tom Janway.

The project, which has been in the works since 2018, has two substantial phases.

“They’ll put the new part in service so that it’s making water and once they have it in service, they’ll take the old part out of service, a half at a time. And rehab it, upgrade it, put in new technology, put in additional plate sellers and things like that,” Golden said.

City engineers say in about 2.5 years, this plant will produce twice as much water as it does right now.

They say this investment meets future needs.

“I remember a gentleman during one of the community meetings when we were explaining why we needed a rate increase. It was basically going to be about $4 a month more on your water bill total when it was all implemented. And he said, ‘four dollars a month so my grandchildren can have clean drinking water. He said I can do that.”

Officials say there won’t be any interruption in service during the expansion.

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