Although many capital projects have been completed since taking office, Parish President Robottom remains determined to do more in the coming months. And if Tuesday night's council meeting agenda is any indication of things to come, the Robottom Administration and the Parish Council will be very busy this spring.
The Balsam Street Drainage Improvement project was approved as substantially complete by the Council tonight, indicating the process of cleaning the drains and adding culverts and grates along Balsam Street is nearing completion. "Although this project was not included in the original bond issue, it was completed using creativity and value engineering," said Parish President Natalie Robottom. The total cost of the Balsam Street project was $72,064.50. Once completed, water will flow easily into the Haydel Canal and into Lake Maurepas, eliminating the flooding problems in that area. "It has been so long in the making. I am happy to see it is completed as it will alleviate the drainage problems in the Balsam and Milesville area," said Councilwoman Jaclyn Hotard.
As the Parish is responsible for ensuring the safety of its residents, President Robottom tasked the Fire Department and the Utilities Department with providing adequate fire protection for the residents along Captain G. Bourgeois Street. As an interim measure, the Fire Department developed a new plan to respond to a fire, should one occur, along Captain G. Bourgeois Street. The Utilities Department developed a proposal to install a water line and two fire hydrants along Captain G. Bourgeois, which should be completed by the end of next month. "It is critical that all of our residents have adequate fire protection. And I applaud both the Fire Department and Utilities for working together to accomplish this latest task," stated Parish President Natalie Robottom.
Three new generators were installed at the Ruddock Nano Filtration Station, Well No. 2, and Stations No. 2 and No. 3. Enclosures were also built above flood level to elevate the generators. These generators will provide an alternate source of power should we need it during a storm. The generators will allow the Nano Filtration System to continue to operate during power outages. This project was funded through the 2009 bond issue at a cost of $359,250.00.
The contract with Pictometry International Corporation was renewed and extended for two years. This program is funded by the Department of Homeland Security at a cost of $36,482.00 and includes aerial mapping of the Parish used to update the Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This system is used by St. John Parish Government, the Sheriff's Office, the Assessor's Office, Fire Departments, and is available to other departments as needed. The last aerial update was completed in 2008. "This system allows us to have greater visibility throughout the parish. It is one of the many systems shared by varying governmental entities," said Robottom.