St. John The Baptist Parish News Release

Improvements to Parish Infrastructure Set Agenda at Finance Meeting

Improvements to Parish Infrastructure Set Agenda at Finance Meeting

Authorization was granted to begin advertising for construction bids for a new 3200 foot Senior Center in Edgard. The new building will provide additional space featuring a state-of-the-art kitchen and large activity room.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

St. John the Baptist Parish – At Tuesday night’s Finance Meeting, President Natalie Robottom requested and received Council approval to move forward with several action items for facility and infrastructure improvements for citizens of all ages.

Authorization was granted to begin advertising for construction bids for a new 3200 foot Senior Center in Edgard.  The new  building will provide additional space featuring a state-of-the-art kitchen, large activity room, aesthetic amenities and a large wrap around porch. The project is funded through the 2014 Bond Issue and construction is estimated to be completed within six months of the issuance of the Notice to Proceed.  Construction may be delayed due to high water levels in the Mississippi River.

In the interim, improvements were made to the existing Senior Center in Edgard as it is slated to remain is use during construction of the new center.  The renovations were funded utilizing a Local Government Assistance Program (LGAP) grant and a small portion of the the 2014 Bond Issue.  The renovations which include upgrades to cabinets, flooring, paint, walls and bathrooms are complete and the public is invited to celebrate the improvements during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the center on April 1, 2016 at 10 a.m.  Residents 60 years and over are welcome to visit the Senior Centers located on the East and Westbanks of the parish for breakfast, lunch and other activities such as Bingo, card games, birthday celebrations and field trips.

The Council also authorized a $568,000 contract with M & H Builders, the low bidder, for the Edgard Library Addition/Renovation Project. The total contract amount of $568,000 includes a base bid at $519,000, Alternate #1 at 12,000 and Alternate #2 at $37,000.  The project consists of adding an additional 1,957 square foot area to the existing library equipped with a new lobby, study rooms, computer space, fresh carpet, bathrooms, and paint.  Upon completion, furniture, computers and bookshelves will be added.

Authorization was also granted by the Council to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an updated Financial System to replace the curren system which is outdated and difficult to use and maintain. The Parish is seeking to enter into a professional services contract to purchase and install a new software system, as well as to provide training and support for employees to use the system. “After meeting with all departments involved and visiting other parishes to review their systems, we felt it was best to begin working toward an improved system that allows our purchasing and finance departments to streamline their daily operations and functions for better work outflow” said Vince Lucia, St. John Chief Financial Officer.

In other news, and in the wake of the February tornado, Parish President Robottom requested and received approval to move forward with a resolution that urges the state of Louisiana to establish a Disaster Assistance Funding Program to provide relief to residents, municipalities, political subdivisions and parish governments in times of disaster when federal disaster assistance is not available because it does not meet monetary thresholds as established by FEMA. This resolution was also adopted by both the Coastal Caucus Committee and Police Jury Association. “It is imperative that the state establish a policy for such occurrences as they appear to be increasing in intensity and frequency,” said Robottom. “We must find a way to fund these disasters without the burden lying on solely local government.”

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