Wednesday, December 24, 2014
St. John the Baptist Parish – At Tuesday night’s council meeting, the proposed $102 million budget for 2015 was approved. An increase of over $30 million is projected from the prior year’s budget and over $26 million from state and federal grants. Debt is projected to decrease by approximately $500,000.
Approval was also granted to move forward with a critical drainage project and for annual purchases. “As 2014 comes to a close, our focus remains on utilizing all available funding to meeting the vital needs of our residents and to continue moving the Parish forward,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.
The Council granted authorization to advertise for the long-awaited Foxwood Drainage Improvement Project. The estimated cost of the project is $2 million, the majority of which is funded by a Gustav/Ike Community Development Block Grant, with the remaining amount funded through the 2009 bond issue. This project will alleviate flooding and make the Foxwood neighborhood safer during severe rain events. Once completed, the levee will extend along the north side of the Foxwood subdivision from the LaPlace Plantation Canal to the existing LaPlace Park Levee. The project is estimated to be complete in 2015.
Annual contracts for the removal and replacement of concrete sidewalks, driveways, and street sections as well as pumps and related materials were awarded to the lowest bidder. Last year over $288,000 in concrete repairs were made throughout the parish. Annual advertisement for pumps and related materials ensures that the Parish receives these materials at a competitive and cost-effective rate.
In other business, the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with Louisiana Economic Development (LED) was extended through June of 2016 to support the Business Training Center. The center provides assistance to small businesses and offers workshops, entrepreneurial training courses, individual consultations, and other business-related activities. “This partnership ensures that our small businesses have adequate resources to flourish and gain access to capital,” said President Robottom.