Parish Council authorizes agreements for wastewater improvements

Published 4:00 pm Friday, July 15, 2022

LAPLACE — During the July 12 meeting in Edgard, the St. John the Baptist Parish Council approved several resolutions to move the Wastewater Comprehensive Master Plan forward.

According to Parish President Jaclyn Hotard, consolidating St. John’s wastewater systems will “increase efficiency, save money and allow us to better address the needs of the residents.”

Hotard shared that the wastewater system changes, once complete, are expected to save the parish a minimum of $1.5 million per year.

“We will be able to address issues more quickly not having to spread out over eight different treatment plants,” Hotard said.

The Parish is now authorized to enter into a professional services agreement with Hartman Engineering, Inc. of Prairieville for the 1 Million Gallons Per Day Wastewater Treatment Pond Project. This project will consolidate three existing regional wastewater treatment plants on the West Bank of St. John Parish to create a new wastewater treatment pond. An effluent line to the Mississippi River will need to be constructed.

According to administration, the estimated cost of the agreement is $931,459.88 to be funded through the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Clean Water State Revolving Loan.

Meanwhile, a professional services agreement with Meyer Engineers Ltd. Of Metairie will be utilized for the Water Transmission Main Project from the Mississippi River to the Woodland Treatment Facility. Through the St. John Water Improvement Program, roughly 21,000 feet of a new water transmission main is planned to carry water from a proposed new raw water intake/pre-treatment facility on the Mississippi River to the Woodland Reverse Osmosis Treatment Facility located in LaPlace.

This agreement, priced at $1,201,649, will be funded through the St. John the Baptist Parish Water Bond Fund.

The Parish Council also authorized a professional services agreement with Ponchatoula-based Breaux’s Services, Inc. for the Hurricane Ida Emergency Recovery River Road Treatment Plant Temporary Belt Press Project. Breaux’s will handle emergency work consisting of the removal, processing and dewatering of approximately 180 tons of sludge that has accumulated in the digester tanks since Hurricane Ida. This project will be funded through the Hurricane Ida fund with FEMA reimbursement.

Councilman Lennix Madere said wastewater improvements are much needed, especially on the West Bank.

“We have received a lot of calls recently that we have problems. This is a step in the right direction to improve that process on this side of the river,” he said.

Madere and Councilman Robbie Arcuri said it would be advantageous to the parish to use the same equipment and motors for easier maintenance at treatment facilities serving both sides of the river.

“We have had conversations to make sure we have commonalities in both,” Hotard said.

In other action, the Parish Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing St. John Parish to advertise and solicit bids for Hurricane Ida building repairs. Purchasing Director Peter Montz said 20 parish buildings are still in need of hurricane repairs. The estimated cost is $5 million.

The Parish took another step forward with storm repairs by awarding a $581,800 bid to Roofing Solutions, LLC. Funded through the Hurricane Ida fund with FEMA reimbursement, this contract involves the replacement of metal roofing on Parish facilities.

The Council also approved a resolution awarding the bid for the Carrollwood Drive Rehabilitation Project to Kass Bros, Inc. in the amount of $2,243,080.20 to be funded through the Public Works budget. This project will consist of replacing deteriorated roadway paving.