Thursday, February 11, 2016
St. John the Baptist Parish - At Wednesday’s Council Meeting, President Robottom requested and received Council authorization to move forward with projects that will make a significant impact to the community.
The Council authorized solicitiation of bids for construction of the Eastbank Government Complex designed by Murray Architects, Inc. The 44,130 square foot building will centralize all government offices for most public services including the Register of Voters, Planning and Zoning, Code Enforcement, Clerk of Court, Utility billing, Finance, Grants and Council Offices. It also includes a new Council Chambers, Courtroom and Parish President’s Office.
A state-of-the art Council Chambers located within the building will include seating for more than 100 people, enhanced sound, voting, and camera systems. “The new government complex is a much awaited project that was finalized after several years of extensive planning and design, including workshops with all stakeholders and Parish Department Heads,” said Parish President Robottom. “The building was designed as a "one stop shop" for residents and business owners and to meet the parish’s needs for today and the future.” The project is funded through the 2009 and 2015 Bond Issues and a Capital Outlay award.
The Parish Council also approved the request to solicit bids for Phase III of the Reserve Drainage Project which is funded through the 2014 Bond Issue. This project includes installation of a subsurface drainage system including culverts and catch basins along E. 27th, E. 26th, Melius, and E. 24th Streets in Reserve beginning at Perrilloux Drive. Phase II of the project, which includes Terrance St., West 8th St., Marmillian Loop, Toni Dr., West 2nd St., West 4th St., Cornland Dr., and Hart Dr. is awaiting GOHSEP approval. Phase I of the Reserve Drainage Improvement Project was completed in 2011.
Additionally, Robottom received authorization to enter into an agreement with GSA Consulting Engineers for professional services for engineering, management, design, permitting and construction monitoring for Phase II of the Lac Des Allemands Shoreline Protection Project in Pleasure Bend. The proposed project will utilize approximately $1,030,000 of Coastal Impact Assistant Program (CIAP) grant funds from Phase I of the shoreline protection project. The project extends the nearshore rock dike by 700-900 linear feet from the mouth of the Vacherie Canal westward further protecting the town of Pleasure Bend against extensive shoreline erosion. GSA Consulting Engineers also provided project management for Phase I which included a barrier 11,000 feet from Pleasure Bend to Pointe aux Herbes.
In other news, a resolution to allow the refinancing of the General Obligation Bond from the 2009 Bond Issue was approved. This refinancing will result in savings in the parish’s debt service of more than $700,000. Since 2010, a concerted effort has been made to refinance general obligation bonds as well as water revenue, public improvement, and sales tax bonds, amounting to over $2.5 million in savings. “The Parish’s credit score and the financial credibility of the Parish has improved significantly in the past few years which allows them to explore this option,” said Jason Akers, Public Finance Attorney for Foley & Judell, LLP.