Patterson water declared emergency
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
PATTERSON — The Patterson City Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring a certificate of public emergency for its water plant, which city leaders said is vulnerable due to years of wear and tear.
The resolution was passed after consulting with the city’s engineering firm about the condition of the plant.
Mayor Rodney Grogan said the facility has deteriorated through the years because of hurricanes and has suffered damage from the use of chemicals that are required to treat water at the facility.
City Attorney Russel Cremaldi said, “From what I understand, maybe a good hard wind could challenge that building and disrupt services.”
City leaders also agreed the facility can cause safety hazards for employees.
By passing the emergency measure, the council will be able to bypass the public bid process it is required to undertake when cost estimates for a project top $150,000.
However, in this case, Grogan estimated it would cost at least $100,000 to examine the project.
Action can be taken 10 days after publishing the city’s intent in its official journal, The Daily Review.
The city is eyeing Community Development Block Grant monies to complete the project.
St. Mary Parish Councilman Steve Bierhorst told the mayor and council that $350,000 is available for St. Mary Parish, and parish officials are trying to expedite the release of that money to use it for the Patterson project.
Bierhorst cautioned the city to be careful about spending its money before they know about a reimbursement.
In other engineering news, Clay Breaud of Gulf South Engineers in Houma said that work still is being completed on a feasibility study for a 2-million gallon filter system for the city’s water plant.
He also reported that drainage funds for work on Mike and Leo drives were not funded by the state this year. However, Grogan said the city would explore other funding options for the projects.
Breaud also reported that the bid process with the Department of Transportation and Development for the Catherine Street sidewalk project should be complete by September or October. If the project remains on schedule, it should start sometime around December or January, he said.
In other news, the council:
—Learned from Grogan that the city qualified for a $5,000 grant from first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity. The grant will be matched by $5,000 from the state, and the city now is in the running for a $150,000 grant.
—Learned from Grogan that a grant has been received for a New Orleans Saints camp.
—Granted permission for a resident to hold a can shake to raise money for a trip to Rome to perform in an American All-Star dance team function. The can shake will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Catherine and Main streets. The council also granted permission for the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department to hold its annual can shake on Aug. 6 at Catherine and Main streets as well as at Church Street and U.S. 90.
—Heard from St. Mary Parish President Paul Naquin, who invited the public to attend the parish’s 200th birthday celebration Saturday at Kemper Williams Park near Patterson. The celebration is free and concessions will be sold.