MC's sewer overhaul to run through winter
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
MORGAN CITY — An overhaul of the city’s Master Lift Station at the south end of Federal Avenue is expected to begin in October or November.
Oscar Boudreaux of Environmental Engineering Services in LaPlace, the city’s engineering consultant, delivered the news to the mayor and council during its monthly meeting.
A pre-construction conference was held Tuesday, and Boudreaux informed the council that the city still is waiting on the Department of Environmental Quality’s approval of the project.
Boudreaux said he expected that approval to be received by next week for the project, which already has been awarded to Hemphill Construction Co. for $954,824.
The project will consist of installing a new 8-foot diameter concrete manhole and tying three mains that go through the pump station’s existing manhole into the new one to continue operations with pumps that are brought onsite.
Then, crews will rehab the current pump station, including installing new pumps and rehabbing the walls.
After the work is completed, the refurbished pump station will be brought back online, and the newly installed manhole will be used to dispose of sewage that is removed using the city’s vacuum truck.
Because there are no pumps in stock, Boudreaux said it would take at least 18 weeks to build the pumps for the refurbished pump station.
He expected the pumps to be ready for installation by December, and the city could be using that alternate manhole this winter.
Boudreaux said concerns have been expressed to the engineer because the winter is not a good time to do this type of alternate pumping. However, he said plans are to put electrical and gas pumps onsite for backup in case there are any problems.
Boudreaux said the project should be complete in the first or second quarter of next year.
Boudreaux also reported that a change order on the Cottonwood Pump Station should begin within the new couple of weeks and be completed in a few months.
The work involves replacing a pipeline to allow the pump station to pump more sewage.
In other matters, Boudreaux said lining of pipes in the city is nearing completion.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the council readopted its millage rates for the 2011 fiscal year as well as its adjusted millage rates.
While the rates were adopted in June, the city had to readvertise the millage proposals again because of an error in the city’s first official advertisements of the coming year’s rates in The Daily Review.
The millage rates declined slightly — 16.89 mills, down from 17.63 mills that were collected in 2010 — but will bring the maximum amount the city could collect for this year.
The adjusted millage included 14.78 mills in general alimony and 2.11 mills for the upkeep of the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium.
The new millage rate, Mayor Tim Matte said, would mean that taxpayers would pay slightly less in 2011 than in 2010, but that the city would collect $53,000 more in revenue on newly assessed properties that weren’t on the tax rolls last year.
In other news, the council:
—Agreed to allow the Morgan City Main Street program to host a Farmer’s Market between Front and First streets under the E.J. Lionel Grizzaffi U.S. 90 bridge, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 1, between 9 a.m. and noon. Vendors will not be charged and, depending on the market’s success, it could turn into a weekly event.
Items suggested at this time include homemade and grown items such as baked goods, canned goods and homemade soaps. If the program is successful, Lisa Morgan, the city’s Main Street assistant, said vegetables could be added.
—Heard from Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who requested the city’s support in a resolution asking for a change in the permitting process for coastal restoration projects in the state.
Plans are to deliver the message of all supporting coastal parishes’ concerns about expediting the process to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. Jackson is supposed to meet with President Barack Obama in October and offer recommendations of a committee tasked with looking at how to save coastal Louisiana.
—Approved a bid request from an unnamed recovery group, submitted on its behalf by Jackie Price of Morgan City, to remove the flood protection baskets by Lake Palourde near Lake End Park for $10. The group wants to use them for coastal restoration. The council approved the bid so long as they are moved before the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival begins Sept. 1. If not, Matte said the city will pursue a second request for the baskets from a salvage company.
—Declared a 2008 Crown Victoria police vehicle as surplus property.
—Approved its monthly financial statements, which included favorable variances in its General and Ancillary, and Sanitation and Sewer funds and an unfavorable variance in its Utility Fund.
—Approved applying for the Local Government Assistance Program for funding for its Lake End Parkway Cabin Project.
—Offered a resolution of respect for longtime Morgan City civic leader and former city councilman Frank Joseph Domino Sr.