Council says Riverlands drainage project complete

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2011



EDGARD – The St. John Parish Council on Tuesday voted to accept substantial completion of a $1.2 million drainage improvement project in the Riverlands subdivision in LaPlace, one of several highlights of a busy meeting in Edgard.

The drainage project involved the replacement of culverts in the LaPlace subdivision, as well as the installation of new pump stations – at the foot of Chattsworth Drive, on Parlange Loop and on Welham Loop – that tie into the Vicknair drainage canal, which runs from LaPlace into Lake Pontchartrain. The improvements will help move water off residential streets and into drainage canals, a problem that has plagued the neighborhood for several years.

Parish President Natalie Robottom said the improvements got a good test earlier this month when Tropical Storm Lee came through the area with heavy rains over a prolonged period. She said on a tour of the neighborhood with council members, parish workers spotted minimal street flooding and no home damage.

“Without the improvements, homes would have certainly been flooded,” Robottom told the council. She also said other projects to improve drainage in the Homewood Place area of Reserve and St. Joan of Arc/ Persimmon Street area of LaPlace are currently under way and should be completed in about 180 days.

The council also voted to apply for a $33,500 grant through the state Office of Community Development to help fund installation of a 12-inch water line under Belle Terre Boulevard from a nearby water tower. St. John Chief Administrative Officer Theresa Rodgers said the 12-inch line would replace a 6-inch line that is no longer suitable for the area.

She said the larger line would increase water flow by four times as much as what the 6-inch line is producing.

The council also approved a resolution to apply for a $105,000 grant to replace the parking lot and concrete walkways at Regala Park in Reserve. Rodgers said the lot has major issues and cracks and holes have become a safety hazard at the park.

Finally, the council voted to approve an amendment to the existing Housing Minor Repair Program that adds 50 homes to the program. The amendment calls for an increased budget of $2.024 million to fund minor repairs of homes damaged by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.

The additional $746,000 being used for the repair program is being pulled from the parish’s ongoing inflow/infiltration sewer project. That project is now being funded through the 2009 bond issue and a loan from the state Department of Environmental Quality.