$9.4M Patterson water plant approved

Patterson Mayor Rodney Grogan

By PRESTON GILL pgill@daily-review.com

After three-and-a-half years, the city was given federal approval of its water plant’s design and construction, Mayor Rodney Grogan announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“We will have our $9.4 million water plant,” Grogan said, as he encouraged council members to stand and share in the credit of working through what he called federal bureaucratic red tape.
“I want to thank the public for knowing what we need and allowing us to move forward with this project,’ Grogan said.
Clay Breaud, city engineer of Progressive GSE, said public bids must be taken and awarded with council approval, but that it is possible for ground to be broken on the project in June.
Grogan said other infrastructure and public improvement projects continue to move forward in Patterson.
The city recently completed a street assessment, which was last done in the 1970s, Grogan said. Seven sections of roadway were given a high priority for remediation. With council approval, Jeffrey LaGrange was appointed to chair a roads/street committee that will utilize that assessment to make decisions about street upgrades in Patterson.
The council passed a resolution in support of the creation of a cultural district and an ordinance for a historic district.
Historic districts allow the owners of older homes to recoup nearly half of the expense of renovations on their homes through 45 percent tax credits that are available to them, parish consultant Lucian Cutrera said.
The historic district ordinance creates a nine-member commission, all appointed by the mayor. Work that affects anything beyond repainting the building the same color or repairs from damages must be approved by the commission. New buildings erected in the district must get commission approval. Mobile homes will not be allowed in the district except on a temporary basis after receiving a permit from the commission.
The purpose of the district will be preservation of the buildings within the district with architectural and historical value.
The district encompasses land sites between Church and Catherine streets and bounded by Main Street.
Cutrera gave an update on the parish hazard mitigation plan, which went into effect in 2004 at the behest of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and must be updated every five years. The plan identifies weaknesses that exist in the communities’ ability to respond or prepare for emergency and disaster situations. Those weaknesses are then prioritized by the communities and parishes and remedial actions are planned and executed when funding is available.
The Patterson Police Department is attempting to procure a computer-aided dispatch system. The city received a single bid for that project, which was for nearly $210,000. The mayor accepted the bid under advisement and said he would pass it on to Police Chief Patrick LaSalle, who was not at the meeting.
The bid proposal from Certified Software Solutions of Louisiana from Mandeville to provide for the system along with licenses, software and support was $189,716. An estimated bid of $18,740 from Campbell Technology Consultants from Houma to install the system was provided in the packet.
There remains about $150,000 in the capital outlay fund to pay for the system, Grogan said.
Steve Bierhorst, public works director and parish councilman, made his first presentation before the council as chairman of the Cypress Sawmill Festival. He was introduced by outgoing chairman David Bourdier, who has served as chairman the past 24 years.
Bierhorst thanked the city for its support of the festival, which is a fundraiser for the Wedell-Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum. The festival will be held this year April 4 to 6.
The festival is an economic boost to the Patterson economy, Bierhorst said.
In other business;
—Butch Felterman extolled the beauty of the Lower Atchafalaya River on which he was raised. He said it pained him greatly to begin to hear the “bigger, better and deeper” Lower Atchafalaya River called Bayou Teche. The city issued a proclamation that the waterway from one mile north of Patterson to Berwick Bay “shall forever be referred to in the official records of the City of Patterson as the Lower Atchafalaya River.” It also proclaimed that all persons, including public officials and educators will be asked to refer to it by that name in their duties, teachings, surveys and writings.
—Greg Aucoin talked about his candidacy for district court judge. He said his history as a civil and defense attorney as well as prosecutor, has given him an understanding of human nature and empathy for people of all walks of life. He said he knows people want to be treated with dignity and respect and has the temperament to deal with people’s pain and frustration.
—Aqua Safety First made a presentation stating they want to continue to pursue their vision of helping under-privileged kids learn to swim.
—A can shake for AAU basketball team was approved for Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
—A resolution was passed to meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s grant for the water plant construction. The resolution restated the city’s water rates established in 2012 by ordinance.

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