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Wednesday, June 19, 2019



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State budget includes $238M in local projects

State budget includes $238M in local projects

Dozens of projects in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes could receive significant money from the state under the current construction spending plan.

The yearly plan, which is still awaiting approval from Gov. John Bel Edwards, outlines over $238 million for local projects. That includes $2.9 million from the state general fund, $15.9 million in priority 1 spending, over $12 million in priority 2 money and $206 million in priority 5 spending.

Projects labeled as priority 1 will be paid for during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The entire bill package calls for over $719 million in priority 1 projects. The bill’s total cost comes in at roughly $3.9 billion.

Priority 2 and 5 projects will likely be financed in future years, depending on money availability and the actions of the Louisiana Bond Commission this fall.

Local projects with the biggest price tag include: over $76 million in improvements to La. 1 in Lafourche Parish; $40.5 million for the Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee project; $16.2 million for flood control in lower Dularge; a combined $25.2 million for LUMCON’s Houma marine campus; and $13 million for the Larose to Golden Meadow hurricane protection system.

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium has been working toward opening a new marine research unit in Houma, further to the north and safer from rising water levels than its existing facility in Cocodrie. Construction of the new building is expected to cost $58.8 million.

Nicholls State University managed to get five projects onto the state list, including money for the renovation and expansion of Baker Hall, building Americans with Disabilities Act compliant restrooms in Stopher Hall, renovations of Didier Field and the campus greenhouse, and the bayou side park development project.

Nicholls this week outlined plans for a $6.5 million state-of-the art football facility and renovations for Baker Hall. The projects will receive a combined $8.9 million from the state and $2.5 million from a private donation for the new facility.

In Terrebonne Parish, the Bayou Country Sports Park has reappeared on the state list. State money was the park’s original primary financing source. About $5.3 million for the park was cut from the list in 2017.

If approved, the park should receive just under $10,000 this year, followed by about $1.9 million in priority 5 money.

The Terrebonne Recreation District 2-3 Board has discussed the potential for this new money to speed up the next round of construction projects, including a family-day use area and beach around the retention ponds at the park.

The town of Golden Meadow is in line to receive over $2 million for drainage and sewer projects.

Projects that will likely be fully paid for this year, through either state general fund money or priority 1 money are: the replacement of antiquated water lines through Lafourche Parish Water District, Lockport street improvements, Nicholls’ greenhouse and Didier Field renovations, the Terrebonne Parish Emergency Operations Center, Minor Cheramie Road paving at Port Fourchon, South Louisiana Wetland Discovery Center phase 2 and Le Petit Terrebonne Theater renovations.

Local projects, payable through bonds, include:

- La. 1 improvements in Lafourche Parish, phase 2, $76.2 million, priority 1 and 5.

- Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee project, $40.5 million, priority 1 and 5.

- Lower Dularge east flood control, $16.2 million, priority 2 and 5.

- Larose to Golden Meadow hurricane protection system, $13 million, priority 1 and 5.

- Fletcher maritime and petroleum workforce training academy, $12 million, priority 2 and 5.

- LUMCON Houma marine campus, $13.2 million, priority 1 and 5.

- LUMCON Houma marine campus, phase 2, $12 million, priority 2 and 5.

- South Lafourche Airport corridor project, $9.23 million, priority 1 and 5.

- Nicholls State University bayou side redevelopment, $6.125 million, priority 2 and 5.

- Renovation and addition to Nicholls athletic facility, $10.9 million, priority 1 and 5 and self-generated revenue.

- Nicholls Stopher Hall restroom ADA upgrade, $1.65 million, priority 1 and 5.

- Houma Navigational Canal deepening, $6.2 million, priority 1 and 2 with $191 million federal match.

- Replacement of Canal Boulevard bridges in Thibodaux, $1.5 million, priority 2 and 5.

- Kraemer water line improvements, $1.7 million, priority 2 and 5 and from state general fund.

- Leeville handicap accessible fishing pier and pavilion, concrete paving and parking, $70,000, priority 2 and 5.

- Minor Cheramie Road paving at Port Fourchon, $1.7 million, priority 1.

- Terrebonne Port Commission slip and Houma Navigational Canal dredging and improvements, $3.9 million, priority 1 and 5.

- South Louisiana Wetland Discovery Center phase 2, Bayou Country Institute, $990,000, priority 1.

- Renovate Le Petit Terrebonne Theater in Houma, $700,000, priority 1.

- Bayou LaCarpe watershed project, $750,000, priority 5.

- Westside/Alma Street drainage, $1.8 million, priority 2 and 5.

- Bayou Country Sports Complex, $2 million, priority 1 and 5.

- Terrebonne Recreation District 7 Klondyke Road facility development, $1.8 million, priority 2 and 5.

- Dursette/Pershing area drainage in Golden Meadow, $190,000, priority 2 and 5.

- Upgrade to north sewerage treatment plant in Golden Meadow, $175,000, priority 1 and 5.

- Golden Meadow sanitary sewer system, phase 6, $1.7 million, priority 2 and 5.

- Donaldsonville flood control, $765,000, priority 1.

Payable from state general fund:

- Replace and upgrade antiquated water lines in Lafourche Parish, $745,000.

- Lockport street improvements, $990,000.

- Nicholls greenhouse renovation, $700,000.

- Nicholls Didier Field renovation, $194,100.

- Terrebonne Parish Emergency Operations Center, $236,400.

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.