Parish Council Recap – December 2022

Published 3:35 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

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RESERVE — A community center in Reserve honoring the legacy of St. John the Baptist Parish icon Homer Boogie Joseph will soon be razed, the damage sustained by Hurricane Ida too great to repair.

A new community center is in the works however, one that will also carry Joseph’s name and continue to pay homage to the man who was such a positive influence on the parish youth.

Parish Director of Purchasing Peter Montz informed council members during a meeting this past Tuesday night the contractors completing building repairs in the Reserve and Garyville areas advised fiscally the best option was to demolish the building since the damage was so extensive and posed a safety hazard.

Del-Con, LLC also recommended razing the sheriff substation, also based on the damage. Demolition of both buildings is projected to be $40,000.

“We still honor (Joseph),” Parish President Jaclyn Hotard said of future plans. “It’s a great opportunity and we can do a lot better to honor the man who did so much for the community.”

In other council matters, Hotard announced two major personal changes in her administration. Michelle Miller, who previously served on the staff of former Congressman and current Director of the Office of Public Engagement of the United States Cedric Richmond, has been hired as director of economic development.

Also, Montz has been promoted to chief administrative officer.

Miller, who has been selected 2023 for the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute declined an opportunity to serve with Richmond in the White House to serve St. John Parish. She is a member of the River Parish Tourism Economic Development Committee.

“She has the skills, experience and work ethic to do this job,” Hotard said.

Montz has been with the parish since 2020, coming in with the Hotard administration.

Hoard also announced chief administrative assistant Deshanda Firmin is leaving to continue pursuing her law school education.

The parish president also gave an update on the coats for kids program she initiated during her administration. She said 238 kids have signed up for the annual coat give away. A year ago, the number was 438.

Hotard also announced the parish is receiving $5 million in funding for sewerage projects and $3 million for water projects.