Ferry Service and the Foxwood Levee Project Require Action at St. John Council Meeting

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Parish President Natalie Robottom requested action on required matters needed to resume ferry services and to move forward on the Foxwood Levee Project at the St. John Parish Council meeting Tuesday night along with requests to advertise for a number of annual materials needed to operate on a daily basis.

Although, the process has been somewhat tedious, DOTD has worked closely with St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom and Administration to allow for the Reserve/Edgard ferry services to resume. For this critical transportation method to operate, agreements with the state were required in addition to a ferry operator. A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement was approved allowing the parish to assume responsibility for ferry operations and DOTD to maintain ownership and provide insurance coverage for the ferry vessel hull and landing barges. With this agreement in place, St. John the Baptist Parish will advertise for ferry operators through a Request for Proposals in the coming weeks. Administration will review proposals and make a recommendation to the Parish Council. “We understand this transportation system is critical to our residents and businesses in St. John. Although the process has taken longer than expected, we are making every effort to resume services as soon as possible,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom. Operations of the ferry will be funded through CDBG funds from the Office of Community Development.

Administration also requested action on a wetland mitigation contract for the Foxwood Levee Project with Coastal Rental Corporation d/b/a Timberton Wetlands Mitigation Bank in the amount of $101,250.00. This agreement and payment is for the 2.7 acres of forested wetlands located along the future levee alignment and will allow St. John the Baptist Parish to receive the final permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). St. John also passed two ordinances approving the purchase of immovable property that is located in the scope of the project. Following the bid process, construction of the Foxwood levee is expected to begin in early 2014.