PPG Complex work denied by CouncilJun 24th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: news
Planning for the Plaquemines Parish Government Complex hit a speed bump at the June 13 Council meeting when an ordinance to issue a request for proposals on engineering and architectural services failed with a vote of 4-3.
A number of Parish residents attending the meeting criticized this ordinance during the discussion.
“How does this play into the current All South contract,” asked Benny Rousselle. With the extensive amount of work that All South has under contract in Plaquemines Parish, Rousselle recommended that work at the new complex be rolled into the current All South contract.
Plaquemines resident Agnes Ansardi spoke up accusing the Parish of dragging its feet in the rebuilding of the court house in the parish seat, Pointe-a-la-Hache. State law mandates that government bodies have offices in the parish seat, so all the governing bodies in the parish‚Äîclerk of court, assessor, etc.‚Äîshould be thinking about new office space in Pointe-a-la-Hache, not Belle Chasse.
The measure failed with only four yeas from Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, and three nays from Districts 5, 7 and 8.
In other Council News
• The Council approved a construction permit for Woodland Borrowpits, LLC, formally designated as Citrus Lands Borrow Pit. Attorney John Paul Larison who represented Woodland Borrowpits, said that 800,000 to one million cubic yards of material will be unusable for levee construction, and will be returned to the pit.
“We will comply 100 percent with that part of the ordinance,” Larison told the Council.
• Several Council members introduced ordinances to amend the Boat Harbor Fund for surveillance equipment at harbors in their districts.
• Cable is making its way down the road. The fiber optics line in Belle Chasse will be extended to the Port Sulphur Government Complex. Guy Laigast, Director of the Plaquemines Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said that the current ATT&T copper wire is unreliable and should be replaced with fiber optic wire. This upgrade will allow for CMA, the local cable provider, to extend its coverage in Port Sulphur.
• An attempt to put the government building in Belle Chasse, also know as the Popich building, on a list of surplus properties failed 0-7, when no council member voted for the measure. Put on the agenda at the request of Parish administration, Parish attorney Leo Palazzo explained that Plaquemines government intends on moving to the former state property on F. Edward Hebert Boulevard next year, and would eventually like to sell the Popich building.
• The Council unanimously approved seeking out-of-house legal services in regards to BP compensation for Plaquemines Parish.
“We don’t have the personnel nor the manpower to handle the money that is about to come to the Parish,” said Buras.
With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake there is a fear amongst Council members that the money to compensate Plaquemines for the extensive environmental and economic damage to the Parish will be diverted to state interests instead of Parish interests.
“This will be a money-grab by the state,” said Buras.
The measure was approved 7-0.
• The Council as the Port, Harbor & Terminal District renewed the contract with Chesapeake Group for lobbying services in Baton Rouge.