$180K, 99 days added to water meter project following Hurricane Ida impacts

Published 12:06 am Saturday, February 26, 2022

LAPLACE — During this week’s meeting in LaPlace, the St. John the Baptist Parish Council narrowly approved a change order with Greenup Industries LLC for the water meter reading and billing system project.

Parish Chief Financial Officer Rob Figuero said the change order, which is the fifth, increased the original contract by more than $180,000 and adds another 99 calendar days to the much-delayed project.

Figuero said the added costs are for installation software licensing fees needed to program the remaining meters and radio transmitters and the additional delay is caused by Ida.

He said 3,000 to 4,000 meters of the original 17,500 meters remained to be installed, and the assumption is the installation will be completed by the end of the 99 days.

In response to a question from Councilman Thomas Malik, Figuero explained that the additional “overhead expenses” the company requested was for costs a company incurs when a delay is not the fault of the contractor. He cited things such as staff Greenup brought on for the project as well as warehousing costs to store the meters.

When questioned by Malik, Figuero said the combined cost of the five change orders is close to $500,000, raising the total cost of the project to nearly $5.3 million.

The motion passed 5-4, with Tyra Duhe-Griffin, Robert Arcuri, Warren Torres and Tonia Schnyder dissenting.