Monday, December 16, 2019
St. John the Baptist Parish – At the recent Parish Council meeting, Parish President Robottom recommendation to award contracts for two critical resilience projects and adoption of a low impact development program were approved. All three proposals help the Parish move towards implementation of the recently adopted St. John the Baptist Parish Adaptation Strategy co-developed by citizens and the Louisiana Office of Community Development.
In an effort to provide resilient transportation and water management improvements to a key commercial corridor, a contract was awarded to CSRS, Inc. in the amount of $348,799.29 for design of the Belle Terre Streetscape and Stormwater Management Enhancements project. Funded with RESTORE Act dollars, the consultant will work with the Parish to design a suite of streetscape and stormwater enhancements to promote economic development, increase the quality of life for residents, and alleviate flooding within the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. The Parish is actively seeking construction funds for this project through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative and other sources.
For long-term protection from coastal storm surge, a contract was awarded to HDR Engineering, Inc. in the amount of $1,129,129 to design a breakwater system to strengthen the existing shoreline and prevent sediment erosion. Funded with Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) dollars, the project will connect with existing breakwater features in Tangipahoa Parish and help implement a “multiple lines of defense” strategy for coastal resilience embraced by both the state of Louisiana and Parish Adaptation Strategy. Once design is complete, construction of the project will be funded through the $9.5 million bond issue.
“These projects represent St. John the Baptist Parish’s continued efforts toward resilience and sustainable solutions to flood risk and water management. Once complete, the projects will complement the long-term protection from the West Shore project and ultimately provide a safer community for all residents,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.
In addition to the two resilience project contracts, the Parish Council adopted a new chapter of the Code of Ordinances titled Stormwater Management to advance the use of green infrastructure as a way to reduce stormwater runoff and mitigate negative impacts of new development. The ordinance also helps the Parish meet requirements of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality which aim to improve water quality and encourage the nourishment of critical wetlands serving as the repository for all local drainage canals.
For more information on St. John the Baptist Parish’s resilience efforts, please visit the Resilience Projects webpage or contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 985-651-5565.