St. Charles Herald-Guide

Water improvement financing an important matter

Our View - April 12, 2006

St.Charles Parish Council is considering a bold new plan to finance the improvements made necessary to its water system made by the increase of population and greater use by industry as the parish grows. It remains to be seen whether or not this plan is the right way to go about it, considering that the big users will virtually pay all of the cost of the upgrade.

Big users mainly spell i-n-d-u-s-t-r-y. The five biggest water users in the parish are Entergy, Valero, Shell, Argus Chemical and Bunge North America.

Questions remain: Should industry shoulder the lionís share of the cost? Will this be a sufficient burden to deter expansion of our present industry or the location of new industry here? Or will the increased burden be sufficient to cause some of our present industry to make their own water as Shell used to do?

One thing is clear: St. Charles Parish must have an upgrade on the east bank. The sticky part comes in deciding who pays for the expansion.

Either way, we must be aware of the effect our chosen plan has on the economy and the cost of this important commodity to residents and industry alike.

The possible effect of our chosen plan must be carefully examined before a definite decision is made.

No doubt, our water system needs improvement and the cost will have to be borne by its users. Just how this will be apportioned is very important to the systemís successful operation in the future.