Ad Spot

Parish Council approves multiple drainage measures: Reopening bars, new parks & rec director highlight other Council news

LAPLACE — Significant advancements in solving St. John the Baptist Parish’s pesky drainage challenges appear to be on the way.

With little fanfare, Parish Council members approved three separate measures totaling more than $2.4 million this past Tuesday night for drainage improvements, including dredging and dragging parish canals.

The council awarded a bid of $354,640 to Vintage Contractors LLC of Baton Rouge and a bid of $597,475 to LA Contracting Enterprise LLC of Thibodaux for dredging, excavation, clearing and snagging of parish canals. Additionally, the parish awarded a contract of $1.4 million to On-Grade Construction LLC of Kenner for excavation and culvert replacement on an as-needed basis for the Public Works Department.

There was some concern regarding the On-Grade bid since it came in more than $400,000 less than the next lowest bid, but parish engineering consultant Joseph Savoie assured the council the company was properly vetted and that the firm has also had projects in Ascension Parish.

Remaining unclear is what improvements will be made to what canals, but dredging and snagging have long been heralded as significant in helping to curtail the flooding repeatedly plaguing some neighborhoods and streets.

In other action, the Council voted to “opt-in” to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Phase 3 guidelines that will allow many restrictions on businesses to be lifted. Parish President Jaclyn Hotard said the parish has reached the threshold of less than 5 percent COVID-19 positivity rate for two consecutive weeks.

As part of the guidelines, bars are able to open but must offer table service only. Alcohol sales must end at 11 p.m., and the bar must close by midnight. Live music is prohibited.

Several businesses, including churches and restaurants will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity.

Sporting events are allowed but with only 25 percent capacity and no alcohol allowed.

Hotard said if the positivity rate should spike past the 10 percent threshold, previous restrictions would likely be reenacted.

The Council also approved former UCLA great and NBA star Mike Sanders as the new director of the parish’s Parks and Recreation Department. Following an NBA career that saw him play for four teams, the former shooting guard turned his attention to the coaching ranks. He has previously served as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Bobcats, along with several teams in the professional minor leagues.

Sanders, a native of Vidalia who prepped at DeRidder High School, was most recently employed by the St. Charles Parish Recreation Department.

“My mission is to enhance quality of life for all residents and provide well maintained facilities and affordable opportunities for the community,” Sanders said.

Council members also denied consideration of a request to appeal the Planning Commission’s denial of an application by resident Buddy Miles to place mobile homes on two lots in Reserve. In April, the commission denied Miles’ request to place the two trailers on E. 9th Street in Reserve.

However, parish Planning and Zoning Director Rene Pastorek revealed that Miles had already placed the trailers on the lots without approval. Pastorek said he was told by Miles that he was under the impression no approval was required since the trailers were placed during the state’s stay-at-home order early this year.

Pastorek said at this point Miles’ two options are to remove the trailers or request a public hearing.

Miles was not present at the meeting, which surprised council members. Council Chairman Lennix Madere said through Miles’ “lack of interest” in appearing before the council “he has spoken loud and clear.”

Edgard

St. John Public Schools to have virtual learning Thursday

Edgard

Entergy reports widespread power outages

Edgard

Hurricane Zeta approaching landfall as a strong Category 2 storm

LaPlace

St. John issues information on Hurricane Zeta

Local

L’OBSERVATEUR mourns loss of administrative assistant Gary Dupré

Edgard

NAACP honors local SHEROES on the front lines of progress

Edgard

St. John the Baptist Church commemorates 100 years

Crime

SJSO: Man used knives to kill girlfriend & her sister, also attacked his 2 teenage siblings

Local

House seeking to end governor’s emergency proclaimation

Edgard

West Bank gets its 1st Pumpkin Patch this weekend

LaPlace

New Rising Star cemetery underway on historic grounds

Edgard

Lower energy bills: Weatherization services available to St. John residents

Edgard

St. John Industrial Group Shares 2019 emission data, supports local restaurants

Local

Ferry disaster remembered 44 years later

LaPlace

AOL Council gets 4-Star Award

Edgard

Office of Motor Vehicles adds online duplicate license request

Crime

Four Juveniles Arrested for School Burglary

Crime

Destrehan man part of duo charged with bank fraud & money laundering

LaPlace

Unclaimed property list

Celebrations

New Pastor named at First Baptist Church in LaPlace

Edgard

Jeff Perilloux sentenced to 14 years

Edgard

List of locals owed money in paper today

LaPlace

5 LaPlace residents charged with firearm & drug conspiracy charges

Edgard

St. John Public School District to bring more students back into schools