Understanding the history of flooding in the Foxwood subdivision and the importance of having systems in place to deal with hurricanes and the damage they cause, Parish President Natalie Robottom takes early steps to ready St. John Parish.
In response to long-standing flooding problems in the Foxwood subdivision, the Parish Council authorized execution of a contract with Shread-Kuyrkendall & Associates, Inc. to prepare plans and specifications for the design of the Foxwood Levee. The engineering firm will also provide assistance with wetlands’ delineation and acquisition of essential permits required for construction. 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. Upon completion of the design and permitting process, the construction phase of the Foxwood Levee project will be publicly bid. “I am happy to see this project move forward. We have made short-term efforts, but this project will be a long-term solution that will relieve a lot of flooding problems in this area,” stated Councilwoman Jaclyn Hotard. The project is funded by federal disaster recovery funds through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1,313,750.00.
A resolution adopting the updated Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) was also approved by the council tonight. St. John the Baptist Parish received funds through a FEMA Planning Grant to assist in updating the HMP to reflect new information and identify specific cost-effective mitigation projects. The plan includes projects that may be eligible for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding. “By adopting this plan, St. John the Baptist Parish remains eligible to receive Hazard Mitigation funds in the future,” stated Robottom.
Robottom also requested and received authorization to renew a contract with FirstCall Network, Inc. through 2015 to provide telephone notification services to residents and businesses for emergency or informational purposes. The system uses the AT&T/BellSouth database which is updated annually. Both DuPont and Marathon access the system and are billed accordingly for fixed lists and geographic access. Approximately $5,000.00 of the $6,500.00 annual cost is born by industry, leaving the Parish to pay the balance. The system is routinely used to notify residents of maintenance and construction projects in their neighborhoods and when emergencies occur. Robottom said, “We are currently exploring other uses for the system with intentions of keeping our residents better informed.”
The Water Storage Tank Repair and Rehabilitation project at Ruddock Station No. 3 was accepted as substantially complete by the council Tuesday night. Professional Applications Services, Inc. completed the process of blasting, refurbishing, painting, and inspecting the 500,000 gallon tank in early March and it was returned to service. “State funding is always appreciated, especially for maintenance of parish infrastructure that is vital to our water system. This becomes even more important during hurricane season,” stated Robottom. The project was funded through the Local Government Assistance Program (LGAP), Community Water Enrichment Fund at a total project cost of $108,439.00. This is $4,000.00 less than the original contract price.