Residents in several unincorporated areas in north Lafayette Parish and Shenandoah Estates, which is surrounded by the city of Broussard and has been urging Mayor Charlie Langlinais to annex the unincorporated island for years, are in line to finally begin receiving clean, potable Lafayette Utilities System water. Residents in Shenandoah have long complained about what they say is a shoddy, unreliable water service provided by Total Environmental Solutions Inc., a private company.
According to District 7 City-Parish Councilman Don Bertrand, who represents the Broussard area, an agreement was signed Wednesday between TESI and Lafayette Parish Waterworks District North in which the latter will take over service for the unincorporated areas. Waterworks District North is one of the rural Lafayette Parish water providers under the Lafayette Consolidated Government umbrella governed by a board of commissioners and in a long-term contract with LUS for wholesale water, which the districts sell to residents in unincorporated parts of the parish. The five smaller municipalities are also in wholesale contracts with LUS — City-Parish President Joey Durel is pressing for severing the contract with Broussard — so consequently about 80 percent of residents in Lafayette Parish receive LUS water. Shenandoah and the other subdivisions that will be affected by the agreement do not, and they’ve had to rely on private providers like TESI.
“I would suspect that their rates will go down because they’re paying a premium now for a horrible product,” Bertrand says of the Shenandoah residents. “They will pay a rate — what that rate’s going to be right now I don’t know.”
Getting the residents in Shenandoah hooked up to Waterworks District North, Bertrand says, will be expensive, adding that he’s “working with [state Sen.] Page Cortez to find some money for Water District North so that they can come up with the funds to run the lines to them because it’s a substantial cost.”