By Renee Allemand-Simpson
Parish activities are revving back up after the Christmas season. And they’re happening on all scales - from the Parish Council submitting infrastructure projects to President Barack Obama and the Louisiana Congressional Delegation for federal funding, to a local parish cleanup day. Those issues and more are making news this January.
RECYCLING RE-HASH. Curbside recycling went the way of so many other things after Hurricane Katrina - it became non-existent. My office has been getting many phone calls about recycling, curbside or otherwise.
At a recent Parish Council committee meeting, administration officials agreed to distribute a survey to residents to gauge interest in restarting a curbside recycling program. The program would cost residents a certain amount each month, so officials want to make sure a majority of residents would welcome that fee. Keep an eye out for the survey in your water bill.
In the meantime, however, the parish is reorganizing recycling drop-off events throughout 2009. The events will take place the first Saturday of each month from 9 to noon at the traditional sites - the New Sarpy Annex on River Road on the East Bank and St. Charles Plaza on Highway 90 on the West Bank. Accepted materials include plastic containers (numbers 1-7), paper, cardboard, paperboard, shredded paper (in bags), newspapers, magazines, phone books, and metal containers such as aluminum and steel. Glass is not accepted.
Due to the downturn in the economy, the parish now has to pay for this service through the Recycling Foundation of Baton Rouge. According to representatives in the recycling industry, the goods are becoming harder and harder to re-sell.
FEDERAL HELP. Each year the Parish Council submits a short list of priority infrastructure projects to Washington in the hopes they will be wholly or partially funded through federal appropriations.
This year those projects include the West Bank Hurricane protection levee; relocation of Barton Avenue to a new state route from Willowdale Boulevard to River Road; improvements to parish sewer lift stations; and a West Bank deepwater public dock along the Mississippi River.
Most longtime residents know these projects are very much needed. The deepwater dock facility would be used by businesses in the Killona area, including the relocated Southern Recycling facility set to be constructed on the batture and along Hwy. 3141. Because of the federal closure of the MR-GO in St. Bernard Parish, the company is being forced to relocate, opening up the possibility of having the dock publicly funded.
SENSIBLE SIGNAGE. The St. Charles Parish Department of Planning and Zoning reminds residents that signage is prohibited by local ordinance along public rights-of-way, servitudes and on telephone poles.
Code Enforcement Inspector Elliott Madere said he spends time each day taking down these illegal signs, which sometimes block sight lines of passing motorists. Knowing how to properly use the signs can save businesses and individuals advertising money while saving time for parish employees.
For more information, please call Planning and Zoning at (985) 783- 5060.
THE TRASH BASH IS COMING. St. Charles Parish, along with an increasing number of community partners, will sponsor a cleanup and recycling day on March 14.
The event is shaping up to be an exciting one, with a great culminating celebration at the Spillway Boat Launch in Norco. We’ll have information about recycling, the monthly drop-off, green living tips, food music and more.
We’re asking community groups, individuals, those who need service hours and just about ANYONE to help us clean the streets that morning. To volunteer, visit www.stcharlesparish-la.gov.
But even if you can’t participate, there’s a lot you can do to take part in our beautification effort. Whether you clean a storm drain in front of your home, pressure wash your business or do some new landscaping, every little bit helps.
We’re out to make St. Charles Parish look the best it’s ever been. Let us know about your activities by e-mailing email@example.com.
FORM COMMUNICATION. The new parish Web site is open for business, and we want citizens to use our online forms to report their issues and communicate with the parish.
Just log on to www.stcharlesparish-la.gov and go to I Want To - Report. Available forms allow you to report drainage issues, garbage issues and more. The information is then sent directly to the corresponding department via e-mail.
Renee Allemand Simpson serves as Public Information Officer for St. Charles Parish. She can be reached at (985) 783-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.