Council approves repair contracts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2011



EDGARD – The St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Tuesday approved contracts with four firms to complete minor home repairs for low-income residents as part of a $1 million federal program.

The council also approved an agreement with a non-profit organization to administer the application process for the program.

Parish President Natalie Robottom told the council the parish has received nearly 400 applicants for the home repairs, known as the St. John the Baptist Parish Housing Mitigation program. The program will assist low-income families in making roof, window and door replacement repairs to owner-occupied homes damaged by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. The program will also pay for hauling and removing of debris from the repairs.

The four contractors approved to perform the work are Affordable Residential Modifications LLC of Sorrento, Chatmon Construction LLC of LaPlace, Family Homes by Tommy and Sheila Inc. of LaPlace and E&L Construction and Real Estate LLC of Reserve. Each contract is for $77,500.

Several council members applauded Robottom’s administration for making an effort to secure local firms to perform the work within the parish.

“You are giving people in the parish jobs, and that is what they need right now,” said Council member Cheryl Millet. “I am very pleased to see three of the contractors were from St. John Parish.”

The program will be administered through the Benevolent Rural Alliance for Cultural and Environmental Strategies, a non-profit from Greensburg. As administrator for the home repair program, BRACES will verify incomes, determine income eligibility, monitor duplication of benefits, schedule and conduct interviews, verify home ownership and determine owner-occupancy during hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The contract with BRACES is not to exceed $19,300.

In other action, the council approved an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services to provide services to more citizens applying for benefits through public assistance programs in the parish.

Robottom said the agreement allows residents in St. John Parish to visit the local Health and Human Services office to receive assistance with applications for first-time services.

“The partnership provides applicants access to computers to complete on-line applications in an environment that affords them sufficient privacy without compromising confidential information,” Robottom said. “A state employee will be available to assist applicants on a work schedule subject to agreement between both parties. This is an opportunity to centralize services in one location for residents with limited transportation.”