Negotiations continue between the Town of Rosepine and owners of acreage the town covets as the site of a new wastewater treatment plant.

The town council last month authorized Mayor Donna Duvall and City Attorney Steven Oxenhandler to execute a buy-sell agreement with the landowners, conditioned on the property being appraised at or above any agreed-to price.

Such an agreement suspends any other interested parties from purchasing the property as long as the pact is in effect.

Duvall told the council Thursday night that the city’s initial offer was rejected and that a counter-offer has been made.

Should the two parties reach an agreement, the next step would be property valuation by a state-appointed appraiser. If the appraisal comes it at or above the sale agreement, the purchase moves forward; if not, the agreement is cancelled, unless terms change to reflect the appraised value.

The town to this point has benefitted from patience on the part of the state Department of Environmental Quality. The decades-old plant was not built for the current treatment volume. And its infrastructure is on its last legs.

The town had reached the point last year of an approved capital outlay allocation from the state to cover the lion’s share of the project cost, but it and many other projects fell victim to the budget axe swung by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

In other action Thursday night, the council:

— Approved a 5 per cent franchise fee to be paid by entities providing cable or video service within the town, under a state-granted franchise authority. Oxenhandler told the council the action guarantees uninterrupted service from current cable provider Suddenlink.

— Adopted amendments to its operating budget, as recommended by CPA Randy Brown, to reflect comparatively minor changes in revenue and spending as well as fa franchise fee payment by Cleco. Brown suggested the town might consider establish a special-use fund for the latter;

— Authorized Duvall to explore partnering opportunities with Fort Polk;

— Was told by Duvall that the Angel Tree benefitting needy children within the town will go up shortly at City Hall. The project provides Christmas gifts for those children.