MAURICE – The once tiny village of Maurice, the proclaimed gateway to Vermilion Parish, is rapidly growing.

“At the 2010 census we were about 964,” explains Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot, “Right now, very conservatively, we’re at 2,000 people.”

That number could be closer to 2,000 to 2,800 people by the 2020 census.

“We’re basically looking at in two years – two and half years – we’ll have about four hundred new roof tops in development,” adds Theriot, “And we’re in conversations with other developers for further rooftops.”

In order to accommodate that growth, Maurice needs added infrastructure.

Enter USDA Rural Development, which has provided an $8.2 million grant to build a brand new waste water treatment facility.

Explains, USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Carrie Castille, “You have expansion and growth in the city of Maurice, which is a great thing. And so to be able to build capacity in these systems – to be able to accommodate the growth – you need to go in there and make sure that we can equip them with the types of tools and equipment they need to be able to grow.”

The project will take about two and half years to complete, but the size of it will allow the community to continue growing.

“The system that we’re helping to finance is approximately 300,000 gallons per day,” says Castille, “Which again, adds additional capacity making sure that our residents and the businesses that we have have access to this critical service and infrastructure.”

But while Mayor Theriot is excited for the growth of Maurice from village to town, he still expects Maurice to stay a close knit community.

“Village has a certain meaning to it, designation: closeness; family oriented,” says Theriot, “And we want to be able to keep that. We want to keep that no matter whether we move up to a town or whether we would be a city.”

Once the designation of Maurice changes from village to town after it surpasses 5,000 residents, representation will also increase with the amount of Aldermen growing from three to five.

Originally published via KADN’s website