The recognition came for the $3.3 million conservation project involving the placement of state-of-the-art automated, radio-reporting, water meters at about 5,800 residences and businesses.
The project was funded by securing federal and state funds, and grant money.
This effort not only preserves fresh water resources, but also greatly reduces the growing threat of salt-water intrusion, an increasingly real crisis in many areas of Louisiana.
Rather than pay a flat monthly rate for water, consumers now pay for the water they actually use.
City officials, engineers and advisers began a program of community involvement, public information and citizen education to explain the process, answer questions and deal with resistance.
They converted the decision to move forward into significant public recognition of the environmental and economic benefits of the automated water meter conservation program.
While not a popular project in an election year, water consumption in Baker is now 21.4 million gallons less per month than last year, a savings of $32,000 or more monthly, and the decision has gained significant public recognition of the environmental and economic benefits of water conservation.
Councilmen Charles Vincent and A.J. Walls voted against the project, but council members Jimmy Pourciau, Fred Russell and Carlon Simpson made the project a success by voting to support it. Nevertheless, the magnanimous LMA awarded plaques to all five council members.
The awards pay tribute to the “vision and ingenuity of elected municipal officials and those who assist them in planning and improving citizen services, community life and economic conditions.
“These awards truly reflect the hard work, dedication and sacrifice necessary to secure progress for the modern American municipality on a path of progress," according to Brookie Allphin, LMA communications and governmental consultant.
"It was simply the right thing to do to protect our valuable water resources for future generations," Mayor Harold Rideau said.
The LMA awards program, conducted for the 44th consecutive year, recognizes municipalities for outstanding achieve ment in basic services, community development and economic development. Within these categories, awards are presented in four population subcategories.
The competition is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and LMA.
The City of Zachary won a 'Honorable Mention' award in the Basic Services division for its efforts in initiating a sewer collection system rehabilitation project.