A funding commitment from the state of Louisiana for this year will provide $829,000 for the construction of the Willowridge Phase of the West Bank Hurricane Protection levee in St. Charles Parish, which is set to go to bid in early 2013.
The funds represent one of eight grants totaling more than $2.3 million secured by the St. Charles Parish Grants Office over the last six weeks. The dollars are set to be spent on projects supporting flood control, recreation infrastructure and government buildings.
The levee funding is being provided through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Statewide Flood Control Program, which in 2011 provided $1.1 million for the project. Additionally, with the help of state legislators, the parish was able to secure a funding commitment of $5.8 million from the state through the same program for the Willowridge pump station. This year’s allocation towards the state’s commitment is $100,000.
“We’ve been able to secure this funding due to help from state legislators former Senate President Joel T. Chaisson II, Sen. Gary L. Smith Jr. and Rep. Gregory A. Miller,” St. Charles Parish Grants Officer Holly Fonseca said. “The West Bank Levee is of utmost importance for the future of St. Charles Parish, and we’re appreciative of the state’s support.”
The parish will also receive $289,000 in FEMA funding to replace a culvert at the intersection of Mimosa Avenue and Primrose Drive at the Ellington (Primrose) Canal in Luling. The existing culvert will be replaced with an aluminum box culvert, increasing drainage capacity and improving neighborhood drainage during heavy rain events. The parish previously received grants to replace adjacent culverts at Primrose Drive, Monsanto Street, River Oaks Drive, Oak Lane, Diane Drive and Lagattuta Boulevard.
FEMA will also fund an overhaul of drainage in the Coronado Park subdivision in Luling through a $708,000 grant to clean and grade ditches and replace undersized or improperly sloped culverts. The funds will also be used to improve capacity at the Coronado pump station number 1 to 15,680 gallons per minute with the addition of two pumps.
Coronado Park has a history of significant street and home flooding during heavy rain events, the latest occurring in December 2009.
“Securing grant funding for this phase of the ongoing Coronado Park drainage improvements in particular has been a challenge,” Fonseca said. “But with teamwork over nearly two years between my office, Public Works and various other departments, GOHSEP and FEMA, we’re now looking forward to alleviating the flooding problems that have plagued this neighborhood in the past.”
A third grant from the state of Louisiana’s Community Water Enrichment Fund will provide $142,800 to replace 5,200 feet of cast iron water lines along River Road in Hahnville from Julia Street to Courthouse Lane. The project will improve water pressure, including pressure to fire hydrants. The new corrosion-resistant piping will also provide for better water quality in the area. Nine new fire hydrants, 15 new valves and eight connections to existing distribution mains will also be installed as a part of the upgrade.
Dow St. Charles Operations also recently awarded the parish $10,000 to cover the cost of materials to complete subsurface drainage work at the West Bank Bridge Park in anticipation of the construction of a new, larger restroom building. To improve road safety, the Parish plans to purchase four portable digital message boards and batteries with chargers, two camera and tower assemblies, and two traffic data collectors with a grant for $90,250 from DOTD. In addition, an energy-efficient upgrade to the Hahnville courthouse’s received an additional $165,000 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant funding on the now-completed project totaled $518,000.
The parish has received a total of $8.8 million in grant funding so far this year.
The mission of St. Charles Parish government is to provide high quality, efficient services to sustain and enhance the quality of life for all residents of St. Charles Parish.