Parish President Rick Nowlin and Director of Public Works Nick Verret the updated the Parish Council at its last meeting December 19 on road work and FEMA reimbursements.
All PW’s for repairs resulting from the March disaster event have been completed by FEMA. To date, payments totaling $274,284 have been processed by FEMA to the Parish.
Parish forces completed repairs to the Coal Kiln Creek Bridge on Robeline-Provencal Road and reopened in Dec. 9 with a 5-ton posted load limit. In other bridge news, the LA DOTD issued a letter to all local bridge owners advising that no new bridge replacement projects will be programmed until such time as additional funding is made available for the Federal Off-System Bridge Replacement Program. This won’t affect projects previously programmed. This includes the following bridges in Natchitoches Parish: Clark Road over Bayou Bourbeaux, Robeline-Provencal Road over Coal Kiln Creek and Good Hope Road over an unnamed drain.
The proposed resurfacing of Orda Levee Road through the Federal Lands Access Program will add 6 inches of crushed stone aggregate surface course to the entire 4.9 mile length of the road at an estimated cost od $473,211. The application was finalized for submittal by the Dec. 16 deadline. Because the road accesses a National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to pay $65,400 of the required 20 percent local match, with the Parish to provide the remaining $29,242. If the project is approved for FLAP funding, the Parish will prepare plans and specs, and the LA DOTD will handle the bid letting.
Nowlin gave updates on Capital Outlay work in the Parish, which received the executed 2nd Amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement from the FP&C. The Parish will request permission to begin project design and construction. The state funding remains at $280,000.
The Parish received an amended Cooperative Endeavor Agreement from FP&C that reduced the funding of Phase I from $500,000 to $200,000 for improvements to Payne Subdivision. Adding the $66,667 Parish matching funds brings the total project budget to $266,667. Because of the State funding reduction, the scope of Phase I must be reduced to the replacement of the bridge on Miller Drive and a very limited amount of street repairs. The amendment was executed by the Parish and returned to FP&C for its final execution.
In other news, the proposed renewal of the 5 mill Parish Road District 40 property tax will be on the ballot March 25. The District includes the entire Parish except for the City of Natchitoches. The renewal of this existing tax is critical to the continued operation of the Parish highway department. If it fails to be approved by voters, there will be major reductions in the highway department and its ability to keep the roads passable.
Verret also provided a report detailing the work accomplishments in each district for the month of November. It included 158 jobs totaling 564,488 feet (106.911 miles) of work for a total amount of $99,058. This included $44,089 in equipment, $33,988 in materials and $20,981 in labor. (SEE PHOTOS BELOW)