The Lafourche Parish Council unanimously granted a 276-day extension last Tuesday night to the Parr Larose pump station renovation project.
The council was prepared to enter into a closed session to discuss the extension when Councilman Jerry Lafont questioned whether it would violate the open meetings law.
“I think this needs to be discussed in public,” Lafont said.
The parish has met with the Lafourche District Attorney’s Office several times and there is a possibility of legal action, Interim Parish Administrator Tommy Lasseigne said.
However, there is no formal demand for litigation, which is needed to enter into a closed session, Assistant District Attorney Lisa Orgeron said.
“There are lawyers all over the place,” Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle said, still supporting the need for a closed session.
After the council decided to discuss the matter in public, Cantrelle declined to discuss the project.
The construction contract was awarded to Sealevel Construction in January 2017. A first change order increased the contract price by $13,495.
In addition to extending the contract time by 276 days, the second change order also provided for modifications to two pumps provided by the contractor and added a second year to the warranty, said the project engineer, Neil Angelette with Angelette-Picciola LLC.
The modifications are necessary to meet federal requirements, he said.
The project remains budgeted at $1.57 million and is financed through federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery money.
Councilman Noonie Autin said the project has been stagnant for too long and urged the council to approve the change order to prevent further vulnerabilities in that area.
The original contract time was 240 days, scheduling final payments for September 2017. With the new extension, final payments are scheduled for June.
-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @gingerale214.
Posted on Tue, April 3, 2018
by By Julia Arenstam Daily Comet Staff Writer