‘We’ve come a long way this year.’
Hurricane protection, drainage and road work top the list of 2018 projects that St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran outlined in his third year in office.
“I think we’ve come a long way this year,” Cochran said. “We have a lot of things going on. There was a lot of things done with the levees and road work.”
In hurricane protection, he outlined work started or completed at the Willowridge Levee reach and pump station, Ellington Reach and levee Phase II, Magnolia Reach and pump station, and the Paradis gate up for bid this year.
“When we came into office, hurricane protection and drainage were very important,” Cochran said. “We’re committed to working it every day.”
An estimated $30 million in levee construction work is anticipated this year, he said.
Additionally, he touted rights of way acquired for the Sunset Levee, completing the rebuild of Cortez Pump Station, rebuilding three main pumps and installing two hydraulic pumps at Sunset Pump Station, and Oak Street Pump Station upgrades.
The pumping stations are critical to water removal, but “they don’t work if you can’t get the water to them,” Cochran said of the importance of drainage.
Representing $7 million in road and drainage projects, Cochran also singled out design work for Montz drainage upgrades, and work beginning on Cypress Lakes drainage and retention.
The parish president also discussed ongoing efforts to replace cast iron pipe in the water system.
An estimated $8 million was dedicated to wastewater projects, including $1.1 million for the Killona Force Main, $1.3 million for the St. Rose upgrade, and $500,000 for West Bank Sewer Plant improvements.
Several recreation projects were also set in motion, including the start of the Montz Multiuse Path, as well as upgrades for Des Allemands and Bayou Gauche paths, and for Wetland Watchers Park.
In community services, he pointed out assistance to more than 1,000 families that included housing rehabilitation.
To help fund the work, Cochran said he asked his departments to do more with less, which helped boost the parish’s general fund from $7 million to more than $14 million.
“I think we made great strides in a number of projects we’ve already started,” Cochran said. “There’s plenty more to do as well in 2019.”