Parish waiting for grants to update pumping stations
Both stations need a new bar screen cleaner and deck at an estimated cost of close to $3.85 million for Cousins and $1.37 million for Schexnayder, according to Public Works Director Sam Scholle at a recent Operations, Maintenance and Construction Management Committee Meeting.
Bar screens are designed to collect debris to keep the pumps from becoming clogged.
“Prior to going to bid, the grant has to be approved,” St. Charles Parish Public Works Director Sam Scholle said. “So that's why it's so important to get your grant work done up front.”
The parish would lose the ability to apply for grants if work begins on either project.
“Right now, we have numerous grants that we're applying for,” he said. “Mr. (V.J) St. Pierre is working diligently on trying to come up with the program, and Ms. Holly Fonseca is also working on the grant program to try to apply for as many grants as we can.”
The key to success in obtaining grant money is to choose critical projects that will impact a large portion of the community, he said. If the parish were to apply for a grant for a project that was lower down on their wish list, they would be forced into doing a project that wasn't a top priority.
The parish hopes to receive $450,000 in grants for the Schexnayder Pump Station and $750,000 in grants for the Cousins Pump Station.
Besides applying for grants, the parish is also attempting to fix or replace hundreds of culverts around the parish.
“Some are small culverts, some are quite large,” Scholle said. “We just did a temporary culvert on Primrose at Maryland Drive, but there are culverts in Bayou Gauche that have to be replaced on the No. 10 Canal and Michael Drive.”
Councilman Terry Authement asked Scholle if the parish could do the work in-house.
“It depends on how fast we want to get it done,” Scholle said. “Currently, our major culverts are put in by the drainage crew, so they do them one at a time.”
Scholle said it takes crews a “considerable” amount of time to put those culverts in.
“When you do one at a time, and you have numbers of them to do, at one point you have to consider whether you are going to outsource some of them if you want to try to speed up the timing of it,” he said. “It's all over the parish. Some are in better shape; some have a lot of work to be done.”
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