Council prioritizes important projects

The St. Charles Parish Council has a list of priority projects that have been submitted to Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, along with State Representative Charlie Melancon. That’s because they want as much help as possible to execute the projects from the various financial sources that are available.

The priority projects, in order of importance, include west bank levee protection, the east bank pump station, the west bank pump station, east bank levee, internal drainage, waste water, the 3160 Willowdale to River Road highway project, and Earhart to Interstate 310.  The airport expansion project was removed from the council’s list of top priority projects.

St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said in his briefing that the airport expansion project is at least five years away.

“The Louis Armstrong International Airport has proposed major expansion into St. Charles Parish, but after speaking to their administration, they assured me that this won’t happen anytime in the near future,” he said.
In other council news:

A moratorium set to expire Feb, 29 has been extended for the Ama community until Aug. 31, 2008. Councilman Shelley Tastet requested the extension for Ama residents, which called for no new development (6 or more lots) until after some zoning issues were resolved in the community.

Councilman Paul Hogan voted in favor of the extension but asked that the process be expedited.
“I know people are ready to start projects, so we need to try our best to move this along,” he said.

“I think that this will be enough time to get the land use study done in Ama,” Kim Maurosek, director of planning and zoning for St. Charles Parish said. “I know that we’ve already got a firm out of Baton Rouge working on the study, and residents will be able to attend meetings with the firm about their concerns.”

A plan to renovate the third floor of the courthouse to make additional office space for parish workers was stopped last night by the council.
An ordinance introduced by St. Pierre called for the council to vote on whether or not to hire Thompson Brown Architects Regional Design group to develop a design and cost estimate for the renovations.

“I can’t support this ordinance because I think there are more important things that we need to concentrate on first as a parish council, for instance drainage,” Council chairman Dennis Nuss said. Councilwoman Carolyn Schexnaydre disagreed.

“The money to begin the project has already been budgeted for and allowing the firm to give an estimate of the costs would have give the council an idea of what the project requires and would help us make an informed decision before moving forward,” she said.

The project was tabled for now.
The council also passed resolutions to install traffic lights at various intersections in the parish. One at  Airline Drive, (U.S. Highway 61) and St. Rose Avenue, and another at Airline Drive (U.S. Highway 61) and Evangeline Road, and Highway 90 and LA 632, near Allemands Elementary School.


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