Friday, October 17, 2014
The Finance Committee Meeting was highlighted by contract awards for several critical projects and programs for St. John Parish. These contracts are required to provide assistance to residents impacted by Hurricane Isaac and to make much needed improvements to infrastructure and operations within the Parish.
Two contracts required to begin the $14 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Housing Programs were awarded. The programs will address the needs of low to moderate income (LMI) and non-LMI homeowners that received damage from Hurricane Isaac. The contract for Intake Services was awarded to Providence Technical Services, LLC to conduct the application and eligibility process for all programs. Residents will have the opportunity to begin the application process on October 27 at the St. John Community Center on Hwy. 51 in LaPlace, the Community Center in Edgard or online at sjbparish.com. The contract for Inspection Services was awarded to Pivotal Engineering, LLC to conduct pre-, mid- and post-inspection services for all eligible properties. Both contracts were required and approved by the Office of Community Development.
In other business, a five year contract was awarded to Acadian Ambulance Services, Inc. in the amount of $334,516.84. Acadian Ambulance is the current provider for the service and the contract amount reflects a 3% increase from the previous contract. The fee for residents will remain the same – no increase. The Department of Finance received authorization to advertise a Request for Proposals for a new financial software system. Based on a recommendation in the annual audit, the goal of the new system is to increase efficiencies, reduce duplications and avoid errors related to manual methods of record keeping. Payment for the new system will be included in the 2015 budget and will be shared across all departments. Julie Songy, Finance Manager explained the need for the system in saying, “the Parish has outgrown its current system and needs a system that can grow with the financial demands we have been experiencing through the years and in future years to come.”
CJ Savoie Consulting Engineers, Inc. was awarded an engineering contract for the Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection Project at the Lions Water Treatment Plant. Funded through the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals $5.5 million Drinking Water Loan Fund, the contract amount of $88,187.65 was based on an estimated construction cost of $547,965.00. This project involves upgrading the current disinfection treatment process at the Lions Water Treatment Plant in Reserve. The existing chlorination disinfection system will be supplemented with an Ultraviolet (UV) system that should be in place by October of 2015.
In preparation for Phase III of the Reserve Drainage Improvements Project, a contract with Buchart Horn, Inc. was approved at an estimated amount of $284,525.00 for engineering services which includes topographical surveying, design, resident inspection, permitting and bidding. The project will include ditch work and culvert and catch basin alignment on areas East of Central Avenue to E. 31st St. Funded through the 2014 Bond Issue, the total project is estimated to be $3 million. Once the design is completed, the bid process will begin for construction of the project. Phase I of the Reserve Drainage Improvements Project was completed in 2011 and Phase II, which will address Terrance St., West 8th St., Marmillian Loop, Toni Dr., West 2nd St., West 4th St., Cornland Dr., and Hart Dr., is currently in the final stage of design.
During the regular meeting, Parish President Natalie Robottom proclaimed October Domestic Violence Month and National Fire Prevention Month.