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Council makes progress on Ruddock water system upgrades

LAPLACE — LA Contracting Enterprises LLC of Thibodaux has been selected for the elevation of electrical components project for the Ruddock Water System.

The company submitted the lowest responsive and responsible bid for the project at $1,840,000. The project includes new pumps and electrical switchgears at Ruddock Stations 1 & 3. This project is 75 percent funded by FEMA, with a 25 percent match funded through the 2014-2015 bond issue.

Even before the current administration, St. John Parish officials and Council members were aware of safety issues at the Ruddock well, which supplies water to 35,000 LaPlace residents. Ruptures in the past have led to outages in St. John Parish.

Council members voted in 2019 to proceed with a project to raise the electrical components well above the minimum height required by FEMA.

Peter Montz, director of purchasing and procurement, said administration is confident LA Contracting Enterprises LLC can successfully complete the task.

In other news, the St. John Parish Council voted to submit a letter to Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin on behalf of St. John the Baptist Parish Registrar of Voters Russell Jack expressing the need for an extra employee.

Currently, the St. John Registrar of voters has two employees and two office locations, one on the East Bank in the Parish Government Complex and one on the West Bank in the Edgard Courthouse.

“This is very much needed to keep the office operating at the top capacity,” Council member Lennix Madere said.

Parish President Jaclyn Hotard presented a resolution authorizing a Building Resilient Infrastructures and Communities (BRIC) grant sub-application to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for the channelization and improvements of eight major drainage canals on the East Bank of St John Parish.

According to Hotard, the Public Works Department is seeking additional funding for the improvement of the major canals to address the impact of the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Levee system on existing drainage flow.

The resolution allows the Parish to submit a sub-application with a total project cost of $2,798,125.60, including $2,131,775.45 in federal funds and a 75 percent local match of $66,350.15.

The motion to approve carried unanimously.