Council accepts bids for Riverlands drainage improvements

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010



EDGARD — The St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Tuesday accepted six bids for drainage improvement work in the Riverlands subdivision of LaPlace, although all six came in above the estimated budget for the project.

The parish administration has set aside $1.2 million from the 2009 bond issue to fund the improvements, but the lowest bid of the six came in at $1.49 million from Command Construction Industries of Metairie. Although all bids came in over the estimated budget, parish administrators still requested that the council take the bids under advisement.

The over budget bids were a point of contention for Councilmember Ronnie Smith, who represents the Riverlands area. Smith was hesitant to accept the bids because he wanted to be certain that thee was enough money in the parish budget to get the project moving right away.

“The people of Riverlands deserve this project,” Smith said. I know they are tired of their houses getting flooded.

The project calls for three new pumping stations that will help move water off residential streets and into drainage canals. The identical pumps, which will be placed at the foot of Chattsworth Drive, on Parlange Loop and on Welham Loop, will tie into the Vicknair drainage canal that runs from LaPlace into Lake Pontchartrain.

St. John Chief Financial Officer Pat McTopy said administrators had not had an opportunity to evaluate the bids, but said other drainage projects from the bond issue had come in under budget and the parish could be able to make up the difference.

At that point, Smith asked for a substitute motion that allows administration to take the current bids under advisement, but in the event that the parish finds there is not enough money to put the project in motion the parish is allowed to re-bid the project right away.

“I don’t want to waste another month or two on this,” Smith said.