Waveland looks to improve facilities in 2014
By Dwayne Bremer
Jan 3, 2014, 17:42
Improving infrastructure and preparing for municipal elections will be major goals of city government in 2014, Waveland Mayor David Garcia said Monday.
Garcia said Monday that he plans to run for re-election this fall, but in the meantime, there are several important projects which need to be completed.
"We have gotten our finances in order in the past few years and it's time to do some much-needed things," Garcia said. "Our biggest priorities will be identifying problems with our sewer system, fixing our roads, and completing work on some of our public facilities."
Garcia said the city will soon be conducting "smoke testing" on its water and sewer lines.
The tests will help identify problems which have caused utility rates to increase for city residents.
"We need to find the problem," Garcia said. "The bill we are paying to the utility authority is high. Last year, we had to raise rates. If we can fix the problems, then we can lower the rates."
Last month, the city began a $600,000 paving project, which will pave many of the city's dilapidated roads.
The project has been delayed at times because of cold weather, but it should be completed by early spring, Garcia said.
Two projects nearing completion is the construction of a beach volleyball complex and repairs to the Veteran's Memorial at Coleman Avenue.
Garcia said he expects both projects to be complete by the beginning of summer.
The Garfield Ladner pier, however, is another issue.
Last month, city leaders awarded a contract to tear down part of the pier because of flood-elevation concerns.
"The demolition contract is a separate issue from the Hurricane Isaac repairs," Garcia said. "We have submitted our project worksheets to FEMA, and as soon as we get approval, we can move forward on repairing the pier."
City leaders also hope to fill vacant space at the business center on Coleman Avenue, formerly known as the business incubator. Last year, Garcia said, a fine dining restaurant was interested in renting space at the center, however, those plans recently fell through.
"We are trying to rent the space and hopefully, we can do that soon," he said. "We have had some businesses express interest, but nothing is confirmed."
2014 will be an election year for Garcia and the board of aldermen.
The city will officially "call" the election in March or April and the primary elections will be held in November. The general election will be the first Tuesday in December.
So far, Garcia is the only elected official in Waveland to announce a re-election bid.