By HANNAH SIMMONS 

Maurice leaders are making infrastructural improvements to accommodate for anticipated growth over the next 20 years.

The village has received a $2.7 million loan from the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund for the construction of a new water system.

The loan, attained in August, will provide for a new water well, a new 150,000-gallon ground storage tank, new high service pumps and an upgraded treatment facility. These updates will better accommodate the growing village, which Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot estimates will be the size of a city at the next census.

The 2010 census showed Maurice population to be 964. Theriot expects the next population count to exceed 2,100. According to the Census Bureau, the minimum population requirement for a town is 1,000.

The water system is part of a larger $12 million project including an updated sewer system that went under construction last year. The new systems are expected to be completed in fall 2020.

“We’re one of the fastest growing municipalities in Louisiana,” Theriot said. “Based upon the 2010 census, our growth is 90% if not exceeding 100%. To accommodate this growth, we’ve had to invest in new infrastructure and in new facilities.”

Over the past year and a half, about 600 homes have been built in Maurice. Picard Farms and Prairie Cove are two developing neighborhoods in the village. The existing subdivisions, Vincent Trace and Gabriel Gardens, have just been approved for additional construction.

“What the administration is doing in Maurice is great,” Anne Falgout, executive director of The Vermilion Economic Development Alliance said. “They are thinking ahead. They knew that they were getting close to capacity, but it wasn’t a real concern. Once they saw the influx of people interested in building residential and commercial development, they applied for the funding to help subsidize the costs.”

The money to pay off the DWRLF loan will come from water and sewer customers. Theriot said to commit to the loan, user rates must be close to the average of the state. This average is determined by Louisiana Rural Water Association. Depending upon water usage, the average family can expect the monthly water and sewer bill to be around $50.

Maurice administration has put a moratorium on sewer and water connections since the village has reached capacity. The last update to the sewer and water systems was in 2010. Theriot said “there was no way to imagine this type of growth” and he said he believes the updated water and sewer plants should accommodate Maurice’s growth for another 20 years.

“The current administration and the people that are making these developments in Maurice are definitely looking into the future,” Falgout said. “They’re thinking about how they can grow in a really smart way.”

Originally published in the Acadiana Advocate, October 25, 2019