Public works up for vote

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 5, 2010



LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish officials on Tuesday will seek council authorization to begin the bid process on three major public improvement projects in the Reserve and LaPlace areas.

The projects, which include a public gym at Regala Park, repairs to about 350 sewer hole covers and rehabilitation of five parish water towers throughout LaPlace and Reserve, will be discussed at the council’s Finance Committee meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at the St. John Parish Courthouse in Edgard.

St. John Acting Chief Administrative Officer Buddy Boe said the long-awaited parish gym has an estimated price tag of about $3.1 million. He said the entire cost of construction would be funded through money out of a $29.5 million bond issue, approved in April 2009.

In November, the council approved a $295,000 contract with Meyers Engineers of Metairie to design the Regala Park gym. Final plans include an indoor basketball court, bleachers for seating of 359 people, a concession stand with a full kitchen and meeting rooms and offices for the parish’s Recreation Department. Boe also said the gym would be built to sustain hurricane-force winds and would double as an emergency relocation point for the parish.

Parish administrators will also seek authorization to bid out repairs to about 350 sewer hole covers in Reserve. Boe said the covers slated for improvement were identified in a 2002 study that was never acted upon.

Boe said the work, which will be funded through a 2010 sewer bond and a $1.3 million federal loan, includes cleaning, rerouting, resealing and raising sewer holes identified in the study. He said the Reserve project is the first of four projects to completely repair leaky sewer pipes parishwide.

Finally, the parish will seek bids on phase two of a three-phase initiative to rehabilitate water towers in the parish. The project is part of a 2008 study that identified 15 of 17 water tanks and towers in need of repair work.

“The study divided the towers into three groups of five based on how much work was needed,” Boe said. “Phase two is the middle group. These require interior sand blasting and exterior pant work.”

Boe said funding for the water tower repairs, estimated at about $1 million, would also come from the 2009 bond issue.