Nucor to add to bond coffers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011



VACHERIE – Bond money for Nucor and bid awards for drainage projects were on the agenda at a recent St. James Parish Council meeting in Vacherie.

With the federal government extending the deadline for securing Gulf Opportunity Zone Bonds for economic development in areas affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the council approved a resolution allowing for the issuance of an additional $35 million in the low interest revenue bonds to help fund construction of the first phase of Nucor’s planned steel and iron manufacturing facility in Convent.

The original deadline for securing and closing on the GO Zone bonds was Dec. 31, but the government recently approved an extension of the program until the middle of this year. Nucor has secured more than $600 million in GO Zone bonds for construction of its $750 million direct reduced iron facility, which officials broke ground on last month.

Parish Bond Attorney Hugh Martin said the parish only serves as a vehicle for the bonds, so they are essentially tax-free to the bond purchasers. Martin said Nucor is on the hook to repay the loan from the bonds.

The council also awarded bids to three contractors for the purchase of materials tied to drainage projects in the parish.

A low bid of $101,855 was awarded to Hanson Pipe & Products of LaPlace for culverts and catch basins for drainage improvements to the school side drainage ditch near Lutcher High School. The purchase includes 800 feet of arched concrete pipe and five pre-cast concrete catch basins.

In March, the council approved an agreement with the St. James School Board to pay up to $148,000 for labor and equipment tied to the drainage project. The project will begin after construction is complete on the high school’s new football stadium, which should be done near the start of the football season in the fall.

The council also awarded bids to F&G Services of Kenner and Belmont Lumber Co. of Hester for purchase of various sized culverts for other drainage projects parish wide. The council will purchase 460 feet of 36-inch culverts and 400 feet of 24-inch culverts from F&G at a total cost of about $34,600. Belmont Lumber will supply the parish with 470 feet of 42-inch culverts for $30,900.