By Renee Allemand
As the summer of 2008 continues to drag on, we’re getting that much closer to the peak of hurricane season. We’ve been watching hurricane Bertha, and while it’s not headed toward the U.S. coast, it serves as a reminder of just how unpredictable hurricanes can be.
The parish hurricane preparedness and evacuation guide has been available online for a few weeks now at www.stcharlesgov.net/hurricane. You’ll soon be receiving the guide in the mail. Please hold on to it. It includes parish contact and other critical information if we find ourselves facing a storm threat.
The Web site includes information on how to get flood insurance, prepare your pets for a storm and sign up for the parish’s alert system via phone and e-mail.
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A group of more than 20 volunteers with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation will complete much-needed repairs at the St. Charles Parish animal shelter this week as part of its Shelter Rehab Project.
The group will be made up of veterinarians in town for the AVMF convention. Volunteers are set to paint and reorganize the shelter’s surgery room, make repairs to the dog runs and pressure wash the building’s exterior.
St. Charles Parish Animal Control Director Angela Robert said a contact with the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals helped secure the work.
“The AVMF was really looking to help shelters in need that assisted in the pet rescue effort after Katrina,” she said. “The shelter will benefit so much from this group’s willingness to help.”
Volunteers will work both days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at three other area shelters as well, including the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society, Jefferson Parish West Bank and St. John the Baptist shelters. Robert said representatives with AVMF have already visited the Luling shelter to make plans for the upcoming project.
AVMF raises and distributes funds for charitable programs that veterinarians value as important for animal well-being, now and in the future. For more information, visit www.avmf.org.
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New finance director
St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. has appointed Grant M. Dussom as the parish’s new finance director.
Dussom, a certified public accountant, was unanimously confirmed July 7 by the parish council at its regular meeting.
A native of New Orleans, Dussom was previously an audit consultant with Deloitte & Touche LLP of New Orleans, an Audit and Enterprise Risk Services firm. There he gained auditing experience working with energy, manufacturing, banking and governmental related companies. He also was responsible for all aspects of the financial statement auditing process for private and public entities, including scheduling, budgeting, planning, fieldwork and reporting. That work included the supervision of audit teams.
“Mr. Dussom will certainly be an asset in making sure parish monies are spent responsibly and in a fiscally-sound manner,” St. Pierre said. “His background in auditing will help during annual legislative audits within the finance department.”
Dussom is an accounting and finance graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and a member of both the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
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Sales tax holiday
The St. Charles Parish Council recently passed a resolution to suspend its 2-percent sales tax on Aug. 1 and 2 following similar measures from the St. Charles Parish School Board and State Legislature.
District III Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto sponsored the resolution.
The adoption of this latest measure means residents will pay no sales tax for all consumer purchases of tangible property up to $2,500. The waiver does not apply to fuel, meals, vehicles or sales to businesses.
The school board suspended its three-percent sales tax on July 2, and the state legislature suspended its 4-percent tax earlier this year.
Parish officials are urging residents to use the savings to stock up on school supplies and hurricane preparedness items.
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Channel to get facelift
As you flip past the Government Access Channel next week you may notice a few differences in how the parish presents its news.
We are now showing full-screen video, and all the slides will be redesigned to be legible and more cohesive.
To view the programming schedule and video news segments on YouTube, visit www.stcharlesgov.net/channel6.