Ruston Mayor Walker Still Pushing for Sparta Water “Fees”

Despite the failure earlier this year of legislation that would have imposed “user fees” upon metered water customers within 16 parishes that comprise the Sparta Aquifer region, Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker is still insistent that the money is needed to pay for a $100 million treatment plant and water pipeline from Lake D’Arbonne to Ruston. That lake water would replace water that is now withdrawn from the Sparta Aquifer.

Walker made his comments at a “planning session” meeting of area officials and some members of the Sparta Groundwater Commission yesterday afternoon at Ruston City Hall.

Walker’s push was met with resistance from area legislators. Getting the legislature, and then the voters to agree to that plan was problematic, they said.

District 35 State Senator Jim Fannin suggested that voters would support more taxes and fees if the priorities were different.

Said Fannin, “You’ve got to be honest with your citizens. When we put our priorities that need funding first, ahead of football, and ahead of athletics, then some of the funding will be there. Water ought to be the number one priority, period.”

Fannin suggested that a pipeline might not be the best way for $100 to be spent, saying that a significant amount of water was wasted from leakage in the many community and rural water systems around the region.

District 33 Senator Mike Walsworth agreed.

“It’s easy to say one project is going to be the magic pill. I think there’s a lot of ways to get smaller projects so everybody can get a little relief,” he said.

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser told the group that he would chair a meeting of legislators and other officials of the sixteen parishes and see if some funding mechanism could be agreed upon, along with a course of action.

22 Responses to “Ruston Mayor Walker Still Pushing for Sparta Water “Fees””

  1. D.M. Griffin, Jr. Says:

    If they intend to use Darbonne water they need to be be sure it can be treated reliably and economically. That water contains between 5 and 10 ppm Mn in the summer (.05 ppm will turn clothes brown). In addition, there is no control over watershed development. It would be a shame to build the pipeline and not be able to provide potable water.

    • Pi R Square Says:

      Outstanding comment! What objective studies have been made on this, if any? The words “reliably” and “economically” are extremely important. No pipeline should be built unless and until the effective, reliable, and economical treatment method under realistic conditions has been determined and proven. Let’s do this right or forget it.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    If Walker thought it was so urgent, why push all his other pet projects first ???

  3. On The Outside Looking In Says:

    Am I understanding that this proposed pipeline would come to Ruston? Would this water be shared with any of the other towns, water systems, parishes? Is there a logical reason why the other 15 parishes would vote to pay for this pipeline if they do not receive any benefit from it? I am willing to listen if you have the answers.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Yes Fannin! Walker will never put anything above athletics. Ever. And his pet projects of course. Hoping the public comes forward at polls .

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe Walker can tax the air that we breathe.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Walker is concerned only about Walker. Not the city. Ruston is becoming too crowded. No longer a retirement town or even a close knit community. It’s a sports complex town & a one man show.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    True, Mayor Walker has his pet projects and obviously water is not one of them. Neither are the needs of our citizens. He’s all about money and power. Praying somebody will come out to oppose in the next election and save our City from financial disaster.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Mayor Walker is wanting to collect fees. The next thing you know, he will be wanting to “manage” the fees to use the interest for some of his pet projects like the glorified sports complex. It’s called “scramble the money honey.”

  9. RavenMad Says:

    Is there enough support to recall or get behind and elect another candidate?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    We are in and know many who pray for City leadership with a core of integrity. Current Mayor would do well to take lessons from the last administration. Mayor Dan, who is HONEST TO THE CORE, never ever lied to our citizens (or City employees).

  11. Anonymous Says:

    It is crucial that someone with a love for Ruston come forward to oppose Mayor Walker! You will have a backing!

    • Anonymous Says:

      Yes and myself and many friends were Elmore supporters! Where is he? Or someone that cares about future of Ruston and not just a sports complex? Many retirees living here don’t care about that.

      • Anonymous Says:

        We supported Bill Elmore before….and will do it again. We need you Bill.

        • Businessmannotusual Says:

          Yes Bill! You had what 40% plus at least before? You are a man of character & intelligence & more reflective of Hollingsworth. Please run again. There’s half of Ruston that wants you and wants change.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    He seems to have signed us up on bills the taxpayer has to pay back if crap goes south. Take the Monster Moto. If it flops we are still paying for any left over bills for that building. Tax in the city is already getting out of hand. The Fellowship Water System in Simsboro told me they tried to pass a fee to charge for using the aquifer? LOL Charge us for God’s natural resource. How about charge the crap out of these mills for their usage? I believe we should not waste water definitely, but come on!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I heard mayor is pushing projects that have not been totally approved. Is that what “slip them through the cracks” means? Council wake up. Has the newly hired sports complex manager been approved? Isn’t she on the payroll? Which fy budget?

  14. SprinklerDan Says:

    Ruston seems to want the entire world to fork over money so Ruston can have cheap water. Instead of a $40 million playground maybe they should have worried about water.
    If there is a “crisis”.
    Which I seriously doubt…

  15. Anonymous Says:

    COUNCIL/CITIZENS, wake up!!!!!

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