St. John Parish begins Private Property Debris Removal Program

Published 1:52 pm Monday, August 8, 2022

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist will begin accepting applications from property owners for a FEMA funded program designed to help with the removal of storm related debris and demolition of damaged structures on qualifying properties within St. John the Baptist Parish.

The Hurricane Ida Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) Program is being managed by Tetra Tech, a contractor of St. John the Baptist Parish with all final eligibility determinations completed by FEMA.

If eligible for the program, residents may receive help with the demolition and removal of severely damaged structures that are deemed to be health hazards, not recoverable, or in threat of collapse due to the storm. The program can also help with the removal of large debris piles, hazardous trees, limbs, and stumps located on a property’s commonly used or maintained areas that pose a hazard to the community.

All properties must undergo a survey inspection to document the requested hazards and structures listed on the owner’s application. A final report will be submitted to FEMA for review and approval of eligible hazards. No work will begin on a property without FEMA approval and the necessary State environmental and historical reviews.

The program will begin accepting applications at the following locations starting the week of August 8:

Intake Centers (Monday – Saturday, 10am – 7pm)

·        St. John Community Center

2900 Hwy 51, LaPlace

·        REGALA Gym

200 REGALA Park Road, Reserve

·        Edgard Council on Aging

3445 LA 18, Edgard

The following will not qualify: commercial properties, residential properties owned by a company, or mobile home parks. Demolitions performed will not remove slabs, foundations, septic tanks, or connected utilities.

 

When visiting an intake center to apply, applicants will be required to complete an application and sign a Right-of-Entry (ROE) — which grants St. John the Baptist Parish and its contractors access to the property for inspection, removal and clearing eligible storm-generated debris and releases St. John the Baptist Parish and contractors from liability due to any damages incurred from work done during the program.

For properties owned by multiple people, all parties may be required to sign the application and ROE, based on how the property is titled.

 

Residents who have homeowner’s insurance are not immediately disqualified from the program. However, eligible properties with insurance may be required to pay back a portion of the cost of work if a review of their claim shows they were paid to complete work they are now requesting from the program.

To apply for the program, homeowners will need to fill out an Application and ROE as well as provide the following information to the program (if applicable):

·        A copy of the property insurance policy, if the property is insured, including the policy’s detail of benefits with cover page and an itemized statement of coverage.

·        A proof of loss/statement of loss from the insurance company, if the property was insured at the time of Hurricane Laura, with a receipt of payment for any and all claims.

·        A copy of owner’s driver’s license or identification (for each individual owner who will need to sign the application paperwork)

·        Proof of ownership, such as a warranty deed, title, will, etc.

 

Once the application is complete and all paperwork has been submitted, St. John the Baptist Parish officials and their contractors will review the paperwork and contact homeowners for any additional information or documentation needed to submit the application to FEMA. After the necessary documentation has been collected, a representative from the program will reach out to schedule the on-site inspection of the property. This step is required before the property can be submitted to FEMA for approval. Once approved by FEMA, a subcontractor will be designated to the property for scheduling and prep work before beginning debris removal and demolitions.

Please remember, if approved, the process to remove debris or demolish structures is a lengthy one and requires multiple approvals at various levels of government. Residents will be contacted throughout the process as updates become available and work is ready to schedule.

For more information, call Tetra Tech’s Private Property Debris Removal and Demolition Program hotline at 985-302-4169 or email SJTBParish.PPDR@TetraTech.com.