Feds cushion the blow of Hurricane Ida repair spending – The Observer

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LAPLACE — The wrath of Hurricane Ida continues to ring the coffers of the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, although the federal government is helping to soften the blow.

The parish council adopted three resolutions at its meeting last Tuesday evening totaling nearly $700,000 for the repair of water meters and fire hydrants as well as street lighting.

Parish Purchasing and Supply Manager Peter Montz said Ida caused an estimated $443,961 in damage to street lights throughout the parish. But in encouraging news, Montz said the repairs would be funded by the Hurricane Ida Fund and reimbursement from FEMA.

The council also awarded a bid to J. Caldarera & Company of LaPlace for emergency repairs to water meters and fire hydrants.

Montz called the damage to the meters and hydrants “deep.”

Also with regard to Ida, the council authorized the parish to publish proposals for repairs and to install a temporary belt press at the River Road sewage treatment plant. Montz said a company will be hired to remove, treat and dewater about 180 wet tons of sludge in the digester tanks that has accumulated since Ida’s death.

Parish officials said additional damage assessments would be completed and submitted to FEMA for reimbursement. These funds will be used to make permanent repairs to the plant.

Council members also approved a resolution to help advance the Hurricane Risk and Storm Damage Reduction System on the western shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Parish President Jaclyn Hotard said the resolution allows the parish to enter into an intergovernmental government agreement with the District of Pontchartrain Levee, explaining that certain rights-of-way and parish-owned properties are required for the completion and the operation of the gigantic project which, once completed, will ensure the protection of the parish against future storm water.

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