Parish Council approves general obligation bonds, addresses mosquito control

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2022

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LAPLACE — Mosquitos, roofs and fencing garnered attention from St. John the Baptist Parish Council members during their meeting this past Tuesday night in LaPlace.

And the council, without comment, approved the issuance of $15 million in general obligation bonds, the first tranche of the $58 bond approved by voters this past fall. Administration officials expressed optimism the funds will be available by August to begin projects.

The council also addressed mosquito control, approving a five-year renewal of a contract with St. John Mosquito Control LLC. Councilman Warren Torres praised the company for its efforts, noting, “When you go to other parishes not as good (in mosquito control) you respect the job (the company) does.

“We are way up there compared to other parishes.”

Sam Stines, chief biologist for St. John Mosquito Control, said the company has sprayed more than 100,000 acres this year. He said new tracking systems have also been installed in company trucks, allowing crews to monitor what areas have or have not been sprayed. Stines encouraged residents planning an event at their home to call about a week in advance so the company can implement measures to minimize mosquitos during the occasion.

However, Parish President Jaclyn Hotard warned that “even the best efforts and all of the spraying will not kill every single mosquito.”

She asked residents to be pro-active around their houses by eliminating any potential mosquito breeding grounds, such as standing water.

In other council news, several parish buildings will soon be getting repairs to roofs damaged during Hurricane Ida. Peter Montz, director of Procurement and Purchasing for the parish, said the estimated cost of repairs is $670,000, which will be paid through the Hurricane Ida fund and FEMA reimbursement.

Repairs will also soon begin on fences damaged at various water and wastewater facilities during Ida. Montz said the facilities require security chain link fencing repairs, and the contract also includes cutting of grass and clearing of vegetation along fence lines.

Montz said the contract does not include repairs at lift stations.

Upon questioning by council members, Montz admitted there were mathematical errors in some of the bids and noted the lowest bid came in 30% lower than the original estimated.

The council also approved the selection of L’OBSERVATEUR as the official journal for the parish.

“We have the local newspaper, which is a very important asset to have here,” Councilman Tom Malik said.

“This is the process set out many, many years ago,” he added, stressing the importance of freedom of the press.