Pump costs could fall, project slated for July start

March 26, 2008 at 9:16 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The West Bank pump project will finally be moving forward and construction could start as early as July. That's because St. Charles Parish has been working with project engineer Rick Shread and consultant C. J. Savoie to ensure that the project isn't overpriced this time around.

"We've been working with the engineers to shave some of the costs off the project and things are progressing according to plan,” Councilman Terry Authement said. “We can have a proposal drawn up by April or May and building could start somewhere around June or July."

Shread-Kuyrkendall has been asked to update the parish on all of it's current projects that are not yet completed.  At the committee meeting last Wednesday, Shread detailed where things stood with the pump project and how long it would take to reassess all of the costs.

"I expect that we could see a $3 to $5 million  savings just on the pump," Authement said. "We're hoping to get the project bid by April."

Early on, the project had a bumpy start. Former parish president Albert Laque tried to push the measure through, but that was quickly brought to a halt. When the costs kept increasing, several incoming councilmen then sued to stop the project until they took office.

Now, the project is getting a facelift.
"We just wanted to be fair to the residents in St. Charles Parish," Authement said. "We didn't want the price of this project to be overinflated if we can save money on it."

The project was slated to cost $27.4 million. Shread-Kuyrkendall and Associates would have gotten 50 percent of that total if the price had stayed that high.

"Greg Bush rejected these bids when he was director because they were too high," Authement said. "We are looking at every aspect of the project to bring the costs down anywhere we can."

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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