Robeline-Marthaville customers opt to join Sabine water system - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Robeline-Marthaville customers opt to join Sabine water system

The main water tank at the Robeline-Marthaville Water System Treatment Plant. (Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA) The main water tank at the Robeline-Marthaville Water System Treatment Plant. (Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA)
Robeline and Marthaville residents hear the results of their votes for a water system merger during Monday night's water system board meeting. (Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA) Robeline and Marthaville residents hear the results of their votes for a water system merger during Monday night's water system board meeting. (Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA)
ROBELINE, LA (KSLA) -

Residents of the Natchitoches Parish towns of Robeline and Marthaville have spoken after having been plagued by water issues for years.

They now are choosing to merge their system with Sabine Parish's.

For weeks last winter, Robeline-Marthaville water customers were left with empty taps and forced to fill jugs at emergency reservoirs while at the mercy of their antiquated system.

Seven months later, they sat at the Robeline-Marthaville Water System board meeting Monday hearing the votes for their future.

"127 was for the merger and then five others were cast for the other options," water system President Don Perez read aloud during the meeting.

That is an overwhelming vote to merge their water system with Sabine Parish Waterworks District 1.

The merger stands to work in the two towns' favor.

Water board officials report a net loss of more than $16,000 so far this year.

Under the merger, water board leaders report, Robeline and Marthaville residents will experience no difference in their water rates. 

Both water district boards have approved the measure.

But the new Leesville attorney for Robeline's water board says the police juries of Natchitoches and Sabine parishes must sign off on the merger.

"The Natchitoches Parish Council will meet at the end of August. And they have to formally approve the merger since it is a public body coming in from another parish," attorney Tony Tillman said.

"I don't know if that's a real big issue but, technically, they have to do it."

The overwhelming vote may sway Natchitoches Parish leaders.

"I never intended to want to get too involved and dictate what you do but support whatever decision you make," Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin told the water board during its meeting.

"I'm very glad the vote was 127-5 and not 61-61."

If approval is given, the project could be signed and sealed within a month.

"I would think within a couple days after the Natchitoches Parish Council meets, it'll be done," Tillman said.

Sabine Parish Waterworks District 1 President Walter Mains said during the meeting that it would only take a 25-day bidding period for the merger construction project. And it could begin as early as Oct. 1.

Once the merger is complete, both water treatment plants in Robeline and Marthaville will be shut down and Sabine will repair their customers' water meters.

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