Council tackles subdivision issue

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 7, 2003


HAHNVILLE – Ormond Trace Subdivision is sinking – fast. On Monday, the St. Charles Parish Council intends to do something about it.

Public Works Director Greg Bush said the nearby drainage canal is doing its intended job, and doing something else never intended – eating away the residents’ back yards and causing foundation headaches.

“It’s a bad situation,” Bush said. “There’s hardly a house without foundation problems and cracks.”

Some homeowners put in their own bulkheads, trying to keep away the water, but even the bulkheads are giving way. Meanwhile, heavy two-story houses sitting on fill are on the edge of leaning toward the canal itself, undermined by water.

“I’ve been in two houses and there were cracks in most every corner,” Bush commented.

On the council’s agenda is approval of a contract with Gilmore & Son Construction for $631,830 to subsurface the entire canal segment. “The easiest and cheapest way is to put pipes in and make it all subsurface,” Bush said, and pointed out the Gilmore bid, the best of nine submitted, was below budget.

Bush continued, “You can’t really blame the developers,” and pointed out FEMA rule changes which changed flood elevation standards caught the homeowners on the wrong side.

In other activity at Monday’s meeting, the council will vote on a cooperative endeavor agreement with the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism for the Thomas Jefferson Exhibit at Destrehan Plantation.

Parish administrator Timothy Vial said the parish is receiving $7,500 grant money to put on the exhibition, as part of the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial observance.

Also, the new council chairman, Lance Marino, will announce his committee appointments, as well as appointments to the MetroVision Foundation, the Library Board of Control, the South Central Louisiana Solid Waste District and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Marino will also appoint chairs for the Operations, Maintenanceand Construction Committee, the Legislative Committee, the Contract/Finance and Administrative Committee, the Special Projects/Public Safety, Health and Environmental Committee and the Reapportionment Committee.

Finally, the council will note the annual Martin Luther King Day observance on Jan. 20, including the march from the West Bridge Park in Luling to the courthouse.