Tuesday, October 9, 2018
St. John the Baptist Parish – The Finance Committee Meeting ended with approval to move several construction projects forward. First, the Council authorized a contract with Pivotal Engineering, LLC for additional inspection services for the CDBG Housing Program. As a component of the $32 million CDBG grant awarded to the Parish to rehabilitation, elevate and demolish homes affected by Hurricane Isaac, the project is on target to be completed before the deadline of September 2019. However, due to additional requirements to eliminate potential “Duplication of Benefits”, the scope of work with Pivotal was expanded to allow for additional inspections. The purpose of the additional work was to re-verify there were no Duplication of Benefits received from homeowners.
The full program is under the management of Royal Engineers & Consultants, LLC which is managing the final projects in this program. Currently, 243 homes have received repairs through the program and 26 have been elevated. Over 10 homes were also demolished. In addition, a $2.4 million FEMA Grant was secured to elevate an additional 22 homes at a 25% match to the Parish. Also as a part of the program, more than 30 businesses were awarded low interest loans to owners directly affected by Hurricane Isaac.
The Council also authorized Change Order #3 with the Lemoine Company, LLC for the Wastewater Retention Pond Conversion to the Wastewater Treatment Plant Project. The change order adds 90 days to the contract at a cost of $9,985 to accommodate the installation of Entergy power to the site. Designed by Environmental Engineering Services, LLC, the pond will treat nearly 3 million gallons of wastewater a day in a more natural and cost-effective manner that also relieves the Reserve River Road Wastewater Plant during times of high use. This project cost is $8.2 million and is funded through an EPA grant and the 2010 Bond Issue and is expected to be complete by the beginning of 2019. “This project will divert millions of gallons of wastewater from River Road to the new site, allowing for needed assessment and repairs to the River Road plant,” said President Robottom. “Also, the plant was constructed with ample ability for expansion should the need arise.”
Resolution R18-26 was also adopted as required by CDBG-DRU for the LA Safe Program. Adoption of this resolution is required by the State of Louisiana to move forward with the $6.046 million grant from LA SAFE for the Airline and Main Complete Streets project. The resolution also allows for acceptance of grant funds through the LASAFE program. LA SAFE is an innovative planning effort launched by the governor in March 2017 to create strategies and projects in anticipation of coastal land loss and increasing flood risk. St. John was recently awarded a $6.1 million grant to complete an Airline and Main Complete Streets Project which will add beautification, storm water management and overall flood risk reduction along Airline Highway between Belle Terre and Main Street in LaPlace.
Funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition and spearheaded by the state’s Office of Community Development in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana, the LA SAFE process included numerous community meetings and engagement events in St. John Parish as well as across the state over a nine-month period.
During the previous Council Meeting, a $1,220,000 contract with a $98,910 alternate was awarded to Onshore Construction Company, LLC of Thibodaux for construction of the Safe Room Project. This facility will provide a secure location to support recovery operations and house Parish employees and critical staff during and immediately following emergency events. The 4,000 square foot facility at an estimated cost of $1.2 million will complement the existing Emergency Operations Center. It is funded through a combination of sources, including the 2009 and 2015 Bond Issues, 911 Communications and the Office of Fire Services.