Council to consider contract for expansion of Lions plant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 10, 2010



LAPLACE – The St. John Parish Council on Tuesday is expected to award a contract for expansion work at the Lions Water Treatment Plant in Reserve.

Funding for the major expansion work will be taken from the $29.5 million bond issue that was approved in April 2009. Parish administration began accepting bids in January and the council is slated to award the contract at a finance committee meeting Tuesday night in LaPlace.

St. John Acting Chief Administrative Officer Buddy Boe said the design work for the project was completed during the bid process so construction could begin as soon as possible. He said the low bid of about $3.6 million is about $900,000 less than $4.5 million construction estimate from parish engineers.

“This would allow us to allocate money set aside in the bond issue for the Lions project to other needs in the parish water system,” Boe said. “We could build another tower, expand at the Nano Filtration facility or put money toward existing water tank and tower refurbishment.”

Boe said plans for the expansion call for an increase in treatment capacity at Lions from 3 million gallons per day to 5 million gallons per day. He said Lions has been operating consistently at about 95 percent capacity and said communities typically look to expand at or around the 80 percent threshold.

“Lions already serves all of Reserve, Garyville and a small fraction of homes in LaPlace,” Boe said. “The expansion would increase the plant’s footprint deeper into LaPlace to serve all homes and businesses south of Airline Highway. It will take pressure off the Ruddock plant and satisfy our water quantity issues for the next 15 to 20 years.”

Parish leaders have tried numerous times to secure funding for expansion at Lions, Boe said. He said the plant has not seen improvement since 1997.

Also on the agenda Tuesday is an ordinace designed to streamline and revise the parish’s code of ordinances to remove repeat or conflicting measures.

Boe said the parish has been working the past nine months with a group called Municode, which revises city and parish code books to ensure all parish or city laws comply with state laws. He said the group has prepared the parish’s code of ordinances so it can be put online and searched easily.

The St. John Council meets Tuesday evening at the Percy Hebert Building, 1801 W. Airline Highway, at 6 p.m.