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St. John sercures partial funding for Reserve/Edgard ferry

LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish
officials announced Friday that the parish has been awarded a $1 million Louisiana Community Development Block Grant through the Louisiana Office of Community Development to fund the operation of the Reserve/Edgard ferry for five months.
These funds will assist with ongoing transportation needs for residents throughout the parish resulting from Hurricane Isaac. Although the annual cost to operate the ferry exceeds the grant award amount, parish officials are considering using Isaac Disaster Recovery funds to pay the difference in costs for the remaining seven months of service. The parish will have no direct financial obligation for the first year of ferry operations, but plans to use the one-year pilot program to verify actual costs and expenses for the service.
“The process of obtaining grant funds and procuring services is timely and tedious; however, the Office of Community Development and DOTD have provided critical assistance to the parish to move the process forward,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.
In addition to securing funding to complete a year of services,
parish staff members are working with
DOTD to finalize a Request for Proposals for a ferry operator, a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement for use of the vessel and barges and landowners for use of ferry landings. Once finalized, the RFP will be advertised and an operator will be selected.