Improved drainage in Ama’s future

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE — The St. Charles Council on Monday awarded a $1.58 million contract to a Mandeville company for installation of automated bar screen cleaners at the Ama pump station.

Public Works Director Sam Scholle told the council that the cleaners are designed to move debris away from the mouth of the pump station by scooping it off the bars and dumping it onto the deck of the station. He said the cleaners would help with debris buildup and keep the pumping station running at full capacity.

Scholle explained that the automated cleaners are an important element for pumping stations during a heavy rainstorm because they will keep pump station employees from having to manually remove the debris from the bar screens with an excavator.

The work would be done by Great Southern Dredging Inc., who outbid M.R. Pittman Group for the contract. Scholle said that he hopes the parish can eventually create a more competitive bid process for projects of this kind since, he said, there are many future projects on the horizon for 2009 and 2010.

“The company has never done work in the parish,” Scholle told the council. “But our consulting engineers researched the firm to be sure they could do this type of work.”

Division B Councilman-at-Large Terry Authement said he was pleased to see a new firm looking for business in the parish. He said it sends the message that St. Charles Parish is open for new businesses to do work.

Scholle said the cleaners, which would take about nine months to install, would not solve all of the drainage issues plaguing the Ama area, but said it is a good start.

“Anything that helps pumps stay at full capacity is an important step,” Scholle said.

In other action from Monday’s meeting, the council approved allocation of about $200,000 in state and parish funding to the River Parishes Transit Authority for the development of a public transit system to service the River Region. A similar allocation was approved by the St. John Council at a meeting last week. The bus service is slated to begin sometime around the first of the year.