Isaac damage forces change in polling places

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 27, 2012



Voters in St. John the Baptist Parish who normally cast ballots at East St. John High School and St. Peter School in Reserve will have to slightly alter their plans on election day next month because of a change in polling places due to damages caused by Hurricane Isaac.

The St. John Parish Council on Tuesday agreed to move the two polling places, which were deemed unusable and inaccessible, according to parish officials. The move affects about 4,000 residents who vote at those locations, but voters won’t have to go very far.

Those who vote in Ward 3, Precincts 4 and 6, who usually report to the main building at East St. John, will now vote at the schools Ninth Grade Academy building, which was not damaged by the storm.

Voters from Ward 2, Precincts 3 and 4, who usually report to St. Peter School, are now asked to vote at the Lacour Center on the school’s campus.

The main building at East St. John High School was flooded with about a foot of water during Hurricane Isaac and has been closed since the storm. Students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades are attending classes at a temporary campus at the former Leon Godchaux Junior High School.

In other action, the council accepted a bid opening by the parish for an automated weather observation system for the St. John Parish Airport. The low bid for the project came from Vaisala Inc., which submitted a $227,322 bid.

The system will give pilots in the area information to help them make safe landings in bad weather. The cost of the project is being split between the state Department Of Transportation and Development and the Port of South Louisiana, which manages the airport, but the council had to approve the plan because the parish owns the airport.

The council also submitted an application for a $145,560 grant through the Local Government Assistance Program for improvements to the parish’s wastewater lift stations. The parish wants to replace dry pumps at the lift stations with submersible pumps.