Voters will decide on bonds

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2008

LAPLACE — The St. John Parish Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to send a $29.5 million Bond Issue to the voters of St. John Parish.

The State Bond Commission must approve the issue, which would be up for consideration during a general election scheduled for April 4, 2009, before the Louisiana Secretary of State can place the proposal on the ballot.

“I am asking the public to support this bond issue because it will allow us to move on many projects that have been on the back burner for quite some time,” said St. John Parish President Bill Hubbard. “There is also money in this bond issue for the local funding needed for the first phase of the Hurricane Protection levee on Lake Pontchartrain which is needed to protect our citizens and their property.”

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said the 2009 Bond Issue, unlike the one submitted by the Council in 2008, is being proposed to the public as five separate propositions, which a voter will vote upon singularly. He said this would allow the voters to decide which issues are the most important to them. Boe said the Bond issue will be financed with existing property taxes and will not require any increase in taxes.

The propositions are broken down as follows:

Proposition 1: $8,000,000 for water system upgrades including the water treatment plant at Lyons, improvements and repairs to the Edgard Water Treatment Plant, and necessary repairs and improvements to the water tanks on both the East and West Banks.

Proposition 2: $7,000,000 for St. John Courthouse Expansion and Eastbank Courthouse Annex Renovations.

Proposition 3: $9,700,000 for hurricane protection levees and drainage, which includes matching funds for hurricane levee construction and improvements to the St. Peter’s School drainage basin, St. John of Arc School area drainage basin, the Old Riverlands area drainage basin, and improvements to all major drainage canals on the West bank and East bank throughout the parish.

Proposition 4: $2,000,000 for public roads, which includes improvements to Airline Highway and the intersections at Belle Terre Boulevard, Hemlock Street and Main Street/U.S. Hwy 51.

Proposition 5: $2,800,000 for recreation facilities, including renovations and improvements to West Bank and East Bank parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities. Proposition also includes the construction of a gymnasium somewhere in the parish.

“I am glad to see dollars in this Bond Issue that will be focused on the traffic situation in LaPlace, said Division B. Councilman-at-Large Steve Lee. “The situation has reached an almost intolerable level and it’s time we (the government and residents) put money on the table to move these projects forward.”