Ida repairs on Parish buildings still underway

Published 12:02 am Saturday, July 2, 2022

LAPLACE — Hurricane season is in full swing, and with at least one tropical system having already skipped through the Gulf of Mexico’s warming waters, St. John the Baptist Parish officials continue to address devastation left by Hurricane Ida nearly a year ago.

During their June 28 meeting, council members made progress on pending roof repairs for parish buildings that were damaged during Ida. The council first approved a proposal to reject the only bid to repair asphalt roof damage at several buildings and followed up by authorizing the administration to solicit new bids.

When asked by Councilwoman Tammy Houston if the bid would be rewritten in a way to solicit additional bids, Peter Montz, director of  purchasing and procurement for the parish, said simplification of the language should help the process.

Montz said the new proposal is removing two buildings from the original list, and potential contractors will have the opportunity to survey the damaged roofs before bidding.

“We hope to get more response since it won’t be so comprehensive,” Montz said.

He added the estimated culminative cost of the repairs is $600,000, which will be paid through the Hurricane Ida fund with FEMA reimbursement.

In other action, the council approved amending professional service agreements with Emergency Restoration Inc, and CrowderGulf, LLC for disaster restoration and recovery services, as well as emergency response services. Parish President Jaclyn Hotard pointed out that both amendments were required to meet FEMA requirements for reimbursement.

Council members also approved a change order with Allen & LeBlanc LLC for the Belle Pointe Sewer Re-routing (Plant closure) project. Parish engineer consultant Joseph Savoie said the change order increases the original contract by $6,121 and adds an additional 120 calendar days.

He said the increase was needed to repair fencing around the station that was blown away during Ida.

The additional days were necessitated by lengthy lead times securing electrical equipment.

During the meeting, the council also approved a change order with LA Contracting Enterprise LLC for the Ruddock water system elevation of electrical components. The original contract will increase by $31,000, and an additional 300 calendar days will be required.

Savoie said the additional costs are because of damage during Ida, and the calendar days are needed because of delays in obtaining special items to be fabricated and delivered.

The hope is to get submerged pumps installed and operational to mitigate any potential damage during a storm.

It was also announced the annual Blessed to be a Blessing Backpack Extravaganza is scheduled for July 16 from 8:30 to 11 a.m., or until everything is gone at the St. John Community Center. Organizer Eliza Eugene said backpacks will be distributed, along with hygiene kits designed to meet the needs of various grade levels of students.

Subway sandwiches will be distributed, as well as 200 $25 gift cards, with a limit of one per car.