Parish nets nearly $5 million in free money for projects this year

November 12, 2008 at 9:31 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre appointed a grants officer to secure money for the parish as part of his newly appointed administration, and so far this year, that decision has really paid off.

Grants Officer Holly Fonseca has worked with various parish departments to successfully secure nearly $5 million to assist in the completion of parish projects like drainage, public works, and various parks and recreation improvements. The money is not a loan and doesn’t have to be repaid.

“The Parish Administration, with the help of the parish’s legislative delegation, has been successful in securing several grant awards for the parish and appropriated funding for parish projects and programs,” Fonseca said. “My job is to pursue grant funding opportunities with the help of parish staff members, as well as to manage the existing grants and cooperative agreements that the parish has.”

Fonseca says the parish currently has over 59 grants and cooperative agreements valued in excess of $24 million. The $24 million in grants  and cooperative agreements  is what the parish is managing  in total right now. That amount includes the $5 million already secured so far this year.

Fonseca says the parish has also applied for more than 30 additional grants to fund various projects or programs, such as a marketing video for the parish, a walking/jogging trail at Rathborne Park in Luling, automated bar screen cleaners at several pump stations throughout the parish, culvert improvements at several locations throughout the parish, improvements to a sewer lift station in Boutte, installation of hurricane shutters on the windows at the East and West Bank Water Treatment Plants and offices, and the elevation of 16 severe repetitive flood loss homes throughout the parish.

The parish has applied for only three grants this year that were not chosen for funding: a $150,000 federal grant for the construction of Rathborne Park in Luling, a $3,000 grant for bleachers at Montz Park, and an $8,000 grant for the construction of a pavilion at Ormond Park in Destrehan.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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