Letters to Leaders

Letters to Leaders

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, APRIL 8, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Good afternoon,

I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable Easter weekend.  I know many of our citizens spent the holiday with family and friends while continuing to maintain personal responsibility.  We saw this firsthand when the Louisiana Department of Health released the latest numbers showing St. Tammany Parish at 2.2 percent positivity rate.

We are continuing to make progress as we move through the recently modified Phase III.  If you are a local business owner and are working to reopen safely, I encourage you to follow the guidelines set forth by the State Fire Marshal’s Office in opensafely.la.gov.

The St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) has officially launched.  STRAP is providing aid to households that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have two locations, one on Koop Drive in Mandeville and one in Slidell at the Towers building, open for in-person applications.  If you would like to set up an appointment, you may do so by calling (985) 898-3016 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  For more information you may visit www.stpgov.org/departments/grants.

The Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health, along with the Louisiana National Guard, will host a drive-thru, Johnson & Johnson Community Vaccination Event tomorrow, Friday, April 9th.  The event will take place at the St. Tammany Parish Fair Grounds in Covington from 9a.m. – 5p.m., by appointment only.  You may schedule your appointment by calling (985) 543-4880 or by filling out your form here.

My top priority is the health and safety of our community and that is why I am encouraging anyone who wishes to receive the vaccine to do so.  Community Vaccine events — such as the one tomorrow — are making vaccinations more readily available. Let us continue working together to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy.

As always, should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe!

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, MARCH 31, 2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Good afternoon,

I am happy to announce that St. Tammany Parish will closely align with the State’s most recent Phase III Order, and that after a year of strict requirements, restrictions on most of our businesses will ease.  As businesses resume under this new Order, the mask mandate will remain in place. We encourage businesses to follow the guidelines set forth by the State Fire Marshal’s Office in opensafely.la.gov.

Our Percent Positivity Rate remains below 3%. Our case rates are lower now than they were this time last year, and though we have a persistent downward trend, we still need to practice the proper precautions.  Our goal, as it has always been, is to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy, and to lessen the burden on our hospitals and healthcare workers, and we feel we are now able to do that while responsibly taking the next step forward.

With numerous reasons to gather ahead of us, such as Easter weekend, I want to encourage our citizens to continue taking personal responsibility.  We do not want to let our guard down at this time.  In order to maintain and build on the progress that has been made, it is important now more than ever to continue to heed the advice of our medical professionals.

The Louisiana Air National Guard and the state Office of Public Health, administered 163 doses of the Moderna vaccine earlier this week at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds.

I ask that each of you continue to encourage anyone over the age of sixteen, who wishes to receive the vaccine, to take the opportunity to do so.  Information on COVID-19, including vaccine and testing information, can be found at www.stpgov.org/covid19.

As always, should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe!

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, MARCH 24, 2021

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Good afternoon,

I would like to thank our citizens for recognizing the importance of the 1.69 drainage millage continuation and choosing to overwhelmingly support the millage.

The continuation of this revenue will allow us to move forward with identified drainage projects and continue to find ways to increase our resilience in the years to come as we address the flood protection needs of our citizens.  The Parish Council and I agree, proper drainage is critical in protecting both life and property from the threat of flooding. I want to thank citizens for their trust in Parish Government to continue to use this funding responsibly.

The funds collected from this millage return approximately $3.9 million in revenue annually. Over 70 projects have been funded by this millage in the last 10 years.

In addition to the continuation of the drainage millage, Governor Edwards and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) have announced $163 million in funding from the Louisiana Watershed Initiative to be used throughout the state.  St. Tammany Parish will receive $10 million of the federal funds to be used for nonstructural projects, including elevations and reconstruction of residential properties in flood-prone areas.  Our coastal communities from Slidell to Madisonville are under frequent threat of storm surge and inland flooding, particularly during hurricane season. We greatly appreciate this funding which will support our efforts to implement resiliency and flood risk reduction plans for the benefit of our citizens most negatively impacted.

St. Tammany remains under a Flash Flood Watch through the evening of Thursday, March 25, 2021. I am encouraging all citizens to remain weather aware by utilizing multiple sources for weather updates, including warnings, should they be issued.  We will announce any emergency preparedness information to the public, contingent on the forecast, through the local media, our website, and through social media on Facebook and Twitter. Links to river gauges in St. Tammany and the status of local roadways are posted at www.stpgov.org/departments/hsep. Citizens can also subscribe to our email list to receive automatic updates from the Parish by visiting www.stpgov.org.  

As always, should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe!

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, MARCH 17, 2021

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Good afternoon,

With Spring right around the corner, I would like to remind our citizens to continue taking personal responsibility, and to heed the advice of medical professionals, as we work to further slow the spread of COVID-19.  As you make plans to enjoy the beautiful weather approaching, we ask that you continue wearing a mask in public, and take the proper precautions.

Our goal, as it has always been, is to lessen the burden on our hospitals and healthcare workers, who have worked tirelessly to care for COVID-19 patients, and to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy.

The March 20th Primary Election is this Saturday. The ballot includes a Parish-wide drainage millage continuation, dedicated solely to improving, maintaining and constructing Parish-wide drainage projects.  I want to encourage all St. Tammany Parish citizens to get out and vote.  To view our drainage millage fact sheet you may visit here..  If you would like instructions on how to view your Sample Ballot you may visit the Louisiana Secretary of State Website Portal for Sample Ballots.

This year we will be bringing back our annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 23, 2021 at the Oak Harbor Park and Ride, 100 Harbor Center Boulevard, adjacent to the Northshore Harbor center in Slidell.  Information will be posted on www.keepsttammanybeautiful.org as the event date approaches.

As we work to launch the St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) we estimate the timeframe to begin taking appointments will be early April.  This assistance will be available to households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In order to ensure all qualified individuals have the opportunity to apply, we will utilize our community partners and the court system(evictions).  There will be two locations for assistance: one on Koop Drive in Mandeville and one in Slidell at the Towers building.

For more information about STRAP you may visit Grants. We know that our citizens need this funding, and we are working as quickly as possible to put all of the components in place to roll out our program to make it available to them.

For questions about STRAP please contact us by phone at, 985-898-3016, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As always, should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe!

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, MARCH 10, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Good afternoon,

March 13th will mark the one-year anniversary of when I, along with other local elected officials, stood before you to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on St. Tammany Parish.  Today, as we move into Phase III, Parish Government employees will resume on-campus work and the majority of our Parish buildings will be reopened to the public.  We ask that everyone be prepared to undergo the required screenings, and be prepared to wear a mask when inside Parish buildings, in addition to while visiting Parish-owned playgrounds like the Kids Konnection and the playground at Camp Salmen Nature Park.

Parish-run litter abatement crews utilizing staff working to fulfill Community Service obligations will continue, but with increased capacity.  The Department of Animal Services will welcome volunteers back to the Shelter.

Vaccine eligibility continues to expand, and I urge every person who is eligible and who would like to receive the vaccine to please get one as soon as you are able.  The Louisiana Office of Public Health announced three vaccine clinics in Region 9 – the Northshore region – through Friday of this week. Additional dates will be announced as more vaccines become available.  Vaccine information may be found here.

Shortly after the pandemic emergency response began in St. Tammany, my comments to all citizens were,

When we come through this, I want us all to look back at the way we united to face this unfamiliar foe.  I want us to be proud.  I want us to be able to say that we made individual choices to listen to and act upon what our elected leaders asked us to do to protect one another.”

I am thankful and proud of the way we have all come together during this year of uncertainties to work together and make this remarkable progress.  We want to build on our forward momentum and continue to take responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 by taking the necessary precautions and continuing to make individual choices to protect one another.

I encourage everyone to remain steadfast in Phase III as we work together to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy.

As always, should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe!

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

Read more...

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Good Morning,

As we serve citizens each and every day, we continue to look for ways to streamline these services, increase efficiencies in how we deliver them, and ensure tax dollars are used prudently.

One successful example of this increase in efficiency and cost-savings is in how we changed the way district infrastructure projects are initiated through bundling district road projects in close proximity. In 2020, four separate projects implemented using the bundling approach produced a combined cost savings of $2,067,640.40. Because of this immense return and successful implementation, all district road packages will utilize this new model going forward. This is a new way to meet a fundamental need in a fiscally responsible way while creating a surplus to reinvest in the next project. I worked closely with the St. Tammany Parish Council, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Engineering, and the Department of Procurement to implement the new process.

We are currently working to launch our Rental Assistance Distribution Program which will utilize CARES Act funding from the Department of Treasury, and I want to give an update on our progress. St. Tammany is currently writing the policies and procedures for the program. It will be designed to reflect what is already in place for Community Action Agency with the incorporation of Treasury guidelines.

When these steps are complete, we will make a public announcement. We will also post this information on our website and social media outlets. In addition, we will utilize our community partners and the court system (evictions) to ensure that all qualified individuals have the opportunity to apply for this assistance.  

We know that our residents and landlords need this funding, and we are working as quickly as possible to put all of the components in place to roll out our program to make it available to them.

Lastly, as vaccine eligibility and availability continue to increase, please find a link to vaccine information from the Louisiana Department of Health on our website: www.stpgov.org/covid19 .

As always, should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

 

Read more...

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, FEBRUARY 18, 2021

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Good afternoon,

The Mardi Gras holiday brought with it a winter weather event that we rarely see in Louisiana. As always, St. Tammany citizens were instrumental in ensuring their own safety and the safety of their neighbors throughout the event.

The wintry mix in some areas of St. Tammany on Monday and the prolonged freezing temperatures Monday night into Tuesday morning impacted our area in several ways. Tammany Utilities is still responding to impacts on the Pineland Park Water System in the Mandeville area and the Alton Water System in the Alton Community. These areas remain under precautionary boil advisories due to pressure losses in their systems as a direct result of weather impacts. We anticipate having samples back from the Louisiana Department of Health within the next 24- 48 hours. When these precautionary advisories are lifted, we will notify our citizens immediately.

Last night, our power companies asked residents to conserve power to avoid the implementation of rolling blackouts as they had briefly done the previous evening. St. Tammany residents heeded these requests from our power companies and did their part to lessen the burdens on the power grids. As a result, no rolling blackouts were issued by power providers in our area last night. The power companies have reached out to me to express their appreciation to our citizens for heeding their requests. I am extremely proud of our community for coming together to prevent the power grid from overloading and ultimately staving off these blackouts.

During emergencies, especially in certain situations like precautionary boil advisories, we utilize our ALERT St. Tammany system to notify residents. Through this system, we can select an area on our maps that needs notification and use an automated phone call to inform them of emergency alerts that will impact their area. We recommend all residents sign up at this link to receive these critical alerts when necessary.

The National Weather Service has again issued a Hard Freeze Warning here on the Northshore from 9 p.m. this evening until 9 a.m. Friday morning. Residents with elderly individuals in their families are asked to make certain they have a safe and effective way to heat their residences and to check on residents who may be at risk. The Department of Animal Services advises pet and livestock owners to take precautions to safeguard the well-being of animals in their care, including bringing pets indoors and preventing water sources from freezing over for livestock. Tammany Utilities advises that in the event of a Hard Freeze Warning, all residents should take the necessary precautions like wrapping their pipes to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. Any person who may need shelter from the freezing temperatures should reach out to the Giving Hope Retreat Center located at 31294 Highway 190 in Lacombe, contact number (985) 218-9485.

Finally, I’d like to thank our St. Tammany Emergency Response Team comprised of first responders from our local Fire Districts. Members of this group are now in Shreveport where they will provide a water supply and infrastructure to the Shreveport area which has seen severe impacts from the winter weather. We wish you safety and health as you assist our neighbors to the north and safe travels as you head home when your work is complete.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe!

 

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

 

Read more...

A MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Good Afternoon,

I am happy to report that our Percent Positivity Rate today, is again trending downward. The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting an 11.70 Percent Positivity Rate which is a 7.14% reduction from last week. We are moving in the right direction. I am still emphasizing the message of prevention through wearing masks, physically distancing, and taking personal responsibility, to help continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. I am also encouraging any person who is eligible, to consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We want to reduce the burden on our hospitals and dedicated healthcare workers, as they have faithfully and professionally served our community throughout this pandemic.

Mardi Gras, as we all know, will take on a new look because of COVID-19 this year. I particularly want to thank our citizens for embracing new creative ways to celebrate this long-standing holiday. New traditions have begun to take hold. New opportunities to support local businesses are presenting themselves and our resilience is healthier than ever.

As we remain in the midst of a global pandemic, we need to continue to work as one community to slow the spread of COVID-19 to protect the most vulnerable among us.  Please continue to help me reinforce this message.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe!

Regards,

 


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

 

Read more...

A MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT

Good afternoon,

One week ago, marked my first year in office where I laid out my vision for St. Tammany. I announced plans to rebuild trust between Parish Government and the people we were elected to serve; to open the lines of communication between citizens and elected officials; to shore up our infrastructure; and spend your tax dollars wisely and efficiently on priority projects with the health of our natural resources in mind. In 2020, we implemented initiatives to achieve this vision. We accomplished these goals while balancing the health of our community with the health of our economy during a global pandemic and a historic hurricane season. Here are a few of our most significant accomplishments:

Through the bonding of $25 million in Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act funding, we were able to secure funding for upcoming projects for coastal conservation, restoration, and hurricane protection. Two projects are already identified: The Tchefuncte River Lighthouse Habitat Restoration and Shoreline Project and the restoration of the boat ramp area at Pearl River Diversion Canal Lock No. 1.

We established a 24-member Revenue Review Committee made up of dedicated citizens and business leaders to develop recommendations on how we might meet and face an upcoming fiscal challenge. This committee has been meeting regularly since last month and is tasked with presenting final recommendations to the Parish Administration and Parish Council by March 31, 2021.

The Safe Haven campus progressed as the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Center renovation was completed and is expected to open later this year. The Safe Haven Health and Wellness Center will house St. Tammany’s third Federally Qualified Health Center and St. Tammany’s first Crisis Receiving Center. The Crisis Receiving Center will be one of the first in both Louisiana and the southern part of the United States.

I remain grateful to have led our parish through this unprecedented time. I am looking forward to continuing to implement the plans of my administration going forward. I am also thankful for the support our community has shown us during my first year as Parish President. You may read more about the progress we made in 2020 here.

Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,


Michael B. Cooper
Parish President

 

Read more...

Resources

Contact Us

  • Administrative Complex
    21490 Koop Dr.
    Mandeville, LA 70471
    985.898.2700

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday through Friday
    8:00am to 4:30pm