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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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Pump station repairs could save some revenue

Pump station repairs could save some revenue

The Lafourche Parish Council discussed several agenda items of note at its Tuesday, June 14 public meeting in Mathews.

An ordinance which would de-obligate most of the $3,500,000 capital outlay in the 2016 parish budget for the Cyprien Pump Station project on Bayou Folse Road near Lockport was debated heavily by members who were unsure where the money will be spent.

Parish administration has decided that the Cyprien station could be refurbished rather than completely rebuilt and the extra money could be used for other purposes.

T. Baker Smith engineer Dustin Rabalais told the council that he was asked by Public Works Director James Barnes to submit an estimate for the pump station which would “rehabilitate” the floor and roof structure and add new trash screens.

In addition, three low-lift pumps would be installed instead of the costlier hydraulic pumps called for in the original design of the project.

The foundation pilings and support members, he said, were not in need of replacement.

But, councilmen were unhappy that no specific figures for the work or where the extra money was to go was included in the ordinance.

Rabalais said the revised estimate to do the work would be about $1,000,000.

When some council members further questioned the revised project and what parish administration will do with the extra $2,500,000, Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle’s response was vague.

“We will put the extra money in other pump stations. We will spend it wisely. Let us do our job; we know what we’re doing,” said Cantrelle.

“I understand but we haven’t been informed where the money will be spent. You missed the boat by not letting us know how much you will spend,” said councilman Michael Gros.

Bo Melvin said: “I see the numbers but no punch list.”

Jerry Jones decided to pull the ordinance and let parish administration come back to the full council with a more concrete plan.

The council discussed a resolution approving an agreement between Lafourche Parish Government and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission to each pay half of the $107,938 cost of engineering services for an environmental assessment, economic analysis and grant application for the “Lafourche Parish Airport Access Road” project.

The parish wants to extend Airport Road across Bayou Lafourche to Louisiana Hwy. 3235 in Galliano. Under the agreement, upon completion of the assessment and grant application, the parish will reimburse the Port for 50% of the cost, not to exceed $53,969.

The council voted in favor of the resolution.

The council also passed a resolution approving an understanding between Lafourche Parish and the City of Monroe to grant the use of that city’s local recreation centers to shelter Lafourche residents in the event of a mandatory evacuation due to a hurricane disaster.

Finally, the council approved a resolution allowing Lafourche Parish Head Start to submit a grant application in the amount of $58,676 for cost of living adjustments for all Head Start staff.

All items were passed unanimously. Councilman Jerry Lafont was absent.