Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Parish President Natalie Robottom continues her vigilance in establishing a preventive maintenance program for parish canals as additional permits are pursued. In addition to the twenty-two permits obtained for canal cleaning throughout the parish, the council approved a contract to permit seven more canals primarily on the West Bank. The parish’s agreement with the Lafourche Basin Levee District ran into a snag earlier this year as several canals on their list for cleaning required wetland’s permits. Subsequently, this request was submitted and approved by the council.
The contract amendment was specific to Royal Engineers and Consultants of New Orleans in an amount not to exceed $30,548.00 for completion of the application process and securing the necessary permits for an additional seven canals. The amended contract will include the following canals: Guss Road Canal, Dugas Canal, George Cousin Canal, East End Canal, Ben Canal, and Company Canal. The permits will allow for grubbing and snagging of the referenced canals and dredging of the Company Canal. Funding for this work was included in the 2009 bond issue and grants through the Office of Community Development for Hurricanes Gustav/Ike.
St. John continues to benefit from state grant funding specific to continuation of the Mississippi River Multi-Use Trail and the Safe Routes to School Program. The council approved resolutions authorizing the Parish President to enter into Cooperative Endeavor Agreements (CEAs) with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD) for the Safe Routes to School Program and Phase III of the Mississippi River Multi-Use Trail through the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP).
The Safe Routes to School grant in the amount of $283,790.00 is for improvements to walking and bicycling conditions around LaPlace Elementary School with a goal of increasing the number of students walking and biking to school. Improvements will include marked crosswalks, school warning lights, 5’ sidewalks with ADA accessibility requirements, striping, and speed limit signs along Greenwood Dr., Evergreen Dr., Ridgefield Dr., and Carrollwood Drive.
Based on DOTD’s cost estimates, Phase III of the Mississippi River Multi-Use Trail is funded at 95% or $812,000 by LA DOTD, with the parish responsible for only 5% or $42,773.68. Phase III was accepted into LA DOTD’s TEP in October and will be let for bids next year. Phase III of the trail will extend from East 29th Street to West 10th Street in Reserve. “Both of these programs enhance our community and the quality of life of our residents. Our children benefit from safe walking or biking routes to school and our entire community benefits from the multi-use trail along the river,” stated Parish President Natalie Robottom.