Temporary dumps now serving St. John Parish

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Managing Editor

LAPLACE — Four temporary dump sites are doing business for St. John the Baptist Parish in handling downed trees and tree limbs, while the parish struggles to keep up with the workload.

Chief Administrative Officer Natalie Robottom said tbat the work of picking up the limbs and downed trees along residential streets is being handled by AshBritt Environmental and their sub-contractors, and being paid directly from FEMA. The parish administration itself is out of the money trail, she said.

Vacant property at Belle Terre near St. Andrew, on McReine Road, on the Reserve Relief Canal east of Airline Highway and on the West Bank near the old Second Ward High School are the temporary sites now being used.

One of the main problems in speeding up the process is the traffic pouring along Airline Highway, Robottom continued.

Therefore, the sites were selected to enable the trucks to quickly dump and return to get another load, back and forth, as fast as possible.

Once that process is completed, chippers will be taken to each site to grind up the trees and tree limbs before transporting to a permanent dump site.

Normally, Robottom said, the expenses incurred would be paid after the work is done, then the parish would be reimbursed.

This time, the parish will be reimbursed for its expenses dating back to the storm preparation and the first 10 days after landfall. However, that check has not yet been received.

The payment would cover expenses incurred by the parish prior to the contractors coming in, including overtime and gasoline expenses by parish vehicles.

Additionally, Robottom said, the contractors were being paid on an hourly basis, but now they are working for a flat rate per cubic yard of material moved. “It’s more performance-based,” she added.

Robottom closed by asking parish residents for patience. Because of how the storm hit, the parish was able to get an early start on clean-up, “but now we’re dealing with traffic” both of residents pouring through the major highways to see their homes in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes, and also of those displaced persons who have relocated to St. John Parish.

Those who have elected to stay in St. John Parish, at least for the time being, are also spilling into the local stores for their shopping needs, and adding to the traffic.