PORT ALLEN, La. (AP) — The West Baton Rouge Parish Utilities Department will absorb Brusly's Water District No. 2 next year.

Jim Rills, chairman of the district's board of commissioners, tells The Advocate the state Department of Health and Hospitals urged the change to streamline services and improve communication with customers.

Rills said Water District No. 2, the last remaining independent water district in the parish, serves about 2,500 customers in Brusly and parts of Addis. The district, formed in 1959, has been governed by a five-member board of commissioners overseeing its $700,000 annual operating budget.

Rills says the water district has four full-time and four part-time employees.

West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley Berthelot said the parish's takeover will be effective June 30.