Pump replacement project draws fire from council, flushed away

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2001


HAHNVILLE – Discussion erupted at the Jan. 9 St. Charles Parish council meeting over a pump standardization plan as Councilman Terry Authement questioned the need for the plan at all. In the end, the plan was unanimously voted down. The ordinance on the floor, introduced by Public Works Director Steven Fall, was to amend an administrative contract approved by then-Parish President Chris Tregre with Montgomery Watson Americas Inc. for design services of the Old Norco Pump Station pump replacement project. An administrative contract is one where, because the contract amount is less than $20,000, is not necessary to be approved by the parish council. This contract was for $19,900. Fall said the idea was to eventually change all parish pumps to Fairbanks-Morse pumps, which he called the “Cadillac” of such pumps. With all pumps the same make, replacement parts would be more easily acquired and warehoused and training on the pump operation would be simplified. The problem arose, Authement said, because no parish pumps are that brand, and if standardization is the goal, standardize to a brand already in use in the parish, where some people already have training. “Why not use one we have?” he asked. “I totally disagree with this ordinance. This is one ordinance that’s been eating at me for several days.” That’s the problem, Fall responded. With more than a dozen makes of pumps in use in the parish’s pump stations, cross-training is a difficulty and warehousing of spare parts is a nightmare. The proposal was shot down by a unanimous council vote. In other action, the council: Approved a zoning reclassification from open land to single-family residential for Avalon, Phase II, to accommodate 20 more lots. Approved a zoning reclassification from single-family residential and heavy commercial to light commercial at 13551 River Road, the Lussan House, for Total Transportation Inc. Approved a zoning reclassification from multiple-family residential to open land to accommodate a 13-lot family subdivision in Ama, requested by Stephen Lemoine. Approved a resubdivision of a tract on Ormond Boulevard for the first phase of Cypress Cove.