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Parish Council Advances One of the Largest Roadway Projects in St. Tammany Parish History

At its February meeting Thursday night, the St. Tammany Parish Council funded the Mandeville Bypass Road, a $34 million new major roadway, which will ease traffic concerns and increase safety.

The 3.5-mile, two-lane divided roadway, which has been in the works for two decades, connects LA 1088 and U.S. 190, with entrances to Pelican Park and easier access to the Safe Haven campus and Fontainebleau State Park.

“Since my administration took office in 2020, we have pushed for real traffic and safety solutions with new routes through our parish, not just repaving roads,” said Parish President Mike Cooper. “I greatly appreciate the Parish Council, who prioritized our citizens’ needs with the advancement of this project. This is a great example of how much we can improve our great parish when we work together to provide a better tomorrow for all.”

The project is funded primarily from St. Tammany Parish Sales Tax District #3, with financial contributions from the City of Mandeville and Recreation District #1.

The Mandeville Bypass Road provides relief and an alternate route for motorists using LA 1088, LA 59 and U.S. 190, as well as other roadways. Traffic studies forecast that more than 3,500 vehicles will use the road daily, with peak daily trips totaling more than 14,200 from Pelican Park visitors.

“This much-needed project will provide a safer, more efficient way for our families to access not only Pelican Park, but also Fontainebleau State Park,” said District 7 Councilman Joe Impastato. “When I campaigned for my Council seat, this project was one of my top priorities. I want to thank President Cooper and my fellow councilmembers for their help in bringing this project to fruition.”

Additionally, the project includes a multiuse path along its entirety, connecting to the Tammany Trace, for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Construction is expected to begin before the end of 2024. The project is expected to take two years to complete.

 

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January 25, 2024 Weather Update from Parish President Mike Cooper

In the last 24 hours, we have received at least six inches of rain. Some areas were harder hit than others. We experienced a lot of street flooding, which has receded across most of the Parish. We are thankful that there were no reported injuries. Unfortunately, there are also a few homes that reported minor flooding.

The latest band of weather has moved through and was not nearly as strong as yesterday, but it is still accumulating in our ditches, rivers and communities. The good news is that once the rain stopped, water started receding showing that our drainage systems are working. However, we are still experiencing rainfall and the downstream impacts from our northern neighbors. We will continue to monitor river forecasts, but we will know more from the National Weather Service this afternoon.

Looking ahead, more rain is on the way over the next few days. Our primary concern will continue to be the safety of our citizens. Please heed the warnings and do not travel through high water. Please monitor local media and stay up to date on the latest forecasts.

All parish crews are actively working through this heavy rainfall event. Our Public Works and Utilities crews are helping our communities where needed. Our Emergency Operations team continues to monitor the forecasts and its impacts. Please check our social media channels for the latest information. We will continue to stand ready with our first responders to protect our community.

Stay safe, St. Tammany!

Sandbags Available for Upcoming Severe Weather Event

In preparation of heavy rainfall beginning Tuesday night, sandbags will be available at the following locations effective today, January 22:
• Airport Road Public Works Barn (34583 Grantham College Road, Slidell)
• Old Levee District Site (61134 Military Road (Hwy 190), Slidell)
• Fritchie Public Works Barn (63119 Hwy 190, Pearl River)
• Keller Public Works Barn (63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe)
• St. Tammany Parish Government Complex (21410 Koop Drive, Mandeville)
• Covington Public Works Barn (1305 N. Florida Street, Covington)

All sandbags are self-service and limited to 15 bags per vehicle. Assistance for elderly or handicapped citizens is available. Please bring your own shovels.

Our friends at the National Weather Service predicts that our area will receive 3-6 inches of heavy rainfall over the course of Tuesday to Wednesday night. Stay safe and please monitor local media as well as our social media channels for updates regarding this severe weather event.

St. Tammany Parish to Launch Adopt-a-Road Program Thanks to Keep Louisiana Beautiful Grant

Parish President Mike Cooper announced that St. Tammany Parish Government has been selected as a recipient of the 2023 Keep Louisiana Beautiful Healthy Communities Grant Program to develop and implement an Adopt-a-Road program.

“Keeping our beautiful Parish clean is a top priority, and one that requires partnership between organizations and our citizens,” said President Cooper. “Our natural scenery is a huge contributor to our quality of life in St. Tammany Parish. With the launch of the Adopt-a-Road Program, we will be able to help maintain it by reducing litter and keeping our community clean.”

Keep St. Tammany Beautiful will reach out to community organizations to discuss the ongoing need for litter abatement, and encourage them to adopt a section of road. In addition to regularly scheduled volunteer clean-ups, roadside signs that read, “Keep St. Tammany Beautiful - Adopt-a-Road Program” will be installed. The signs will identify the volunteer organizations and also include the state enforcement hotline 1-888-LIT-R-BUG. By expanding litter removal with committed volunteers, the program will help meet the ever-present need for litter abatement, draw positive attention to the participating organizations, promote civic pride and responsibility, and raise public awareness.

By reducing the amount of litter in public roadways, bolstering awareness and enforcement efforts, the volunteer program is expected to help modify public behavior and improve quality of life for residents in St. Tammany Parish.

The 2023-2024 Healthy Communities Grant program has approved up to $193,066 for 31 organizations in 16 parishes. Keep Louisiana Beautiful is an anti‐litter and community improvement non-profit organization focused on achieving a clean and beautiful Louisiana. Learn more at www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org.

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President Cooper Announces Presenting Sponsors for 24th Annual Holiday Of Lights

“St. Tammany Health System | Ochsner and WDSU-TV are pillars within our community and we are excited they will help us spread holiday cheer in St. Tammany,” said President Cooper. “Each year, the Holiday of Lights brings our community together to celebrate the joy of the holiday season. I am proud to continue our Parish tradition with the Holiday of Lights, which is only possible with these sponsorships and the support of the Tammany Trace Foundation.”

The free, open-to-the-public festivities on Koop Drive kick off with a lighting ceremony and parade at 6 p.m. on December 1 before continuing with performances from schools and local organizations across St. Tammany Parish on December 1, 2, 8 and 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

After December 9, lighted displays will be available as a drive-thru experience from dusk to dawn through December 31. The month-long event is free and open to the public.

“The Tammany Trace is vital to our community as it provides an avenue for physical fitness which enhances health and wellness,” said St. Tammany Health System President and CEO Joan Coffman. “Our sponsorship of the Holiday of Lights to support the Tammany Trace Foundation, underscores our vision to strengthen the health of our community with compassion, innovation, and partnership. We are proud to be a partner in this annual event.”

“Whether you are a young family pushing a stroller or retirees enjoying a bike ride, the Tammany Trace is the perfect place to begin to live a healthier lifestyle. Ochsner is a proud partner in supporting the Trace through the Holiday of Lights, and we look forward to two weekends of fun and performances at the Trailhead,” said Dr. Tim Riddell, CEO of Ochsner Health’s Northshore and Mississippi Gulf Coast Region. “The Trace connects communities from Slidell to Covington, and is an incredible outlet for all of our residents to enjoy the outdoors and healthy activities.”

"We are truly delighted to be a presenting sponsor for the 24th Annual Holiday of Lights,” said WDSU President and General Manager Mike Neelly. “In the spirit of community, unity, and festivity, WDSU continues its tradition of illuminating hearts and homes.

Monitor St. Tammany Parish Government’s social media channels for exciting updates about new additions to this year’s festivities.

All performances will air live on St. Tammany Parish Government’s public access TV channel, STPG-TV. The full performance and food vendor schedule as well as a few special surprises will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information or to view sponsorship information, please visit the Holiday of Lights website.

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PRESIDENT COOPER BREAKS GROUND ON LARGEST WATER INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT IN ST. TAMMANY HISTORY

Cooper Administration's Infrastructure Improvements to Move Forward with Northshore Lawmakers Efforts

ST. TAMMANY, La. - President Mike Cooper ceremoniously broke ground on the largest water infrastructure improvement project in St. Tammany Parish history, a $23 million investment in the Cross Gates Water systems, on Monday.

The initiative will be completed in several projects, starting with the Meadowlake Interconnect, which includes a new water main to connect Cross Gates and the Meadowlake water systems to provide secondary sources and an additional well connection for the Cross Gates water system.

“Our commitment to providing stronger, more resilient and reliable water infrastructure has never been stronger,” said Cooper. “I am proud of our staff, Team Tammany, who worked hard to bring these dollars to St. Tammany and all who helped bring this unprecedented investment to fruition. This is yet another example of how vast the benefits can be for our citizens when we work together with our local, state and federal partners.”

In all, the improvements include two new water towers, 30,000’ of new water main, a 1,000 gpm water well, two new permanent generators and remote monitoring technology for the Cross Gates Water Systems. All of the aforementioned improvements are actively being moved forward in various stages.

The new water tower construction is expected by early 2024.

"I am excited to see the work started to improve water quality and reliability in the St. Tammany Utilities water system,” said state Sen. Sharon Hewitt. “Being a resident in this area, I know how important this project is and am proud to have brought $23 million in state funding to get Phase 1 underway."

Funding includes $15.7 million from the state through the Water Sector Program Grant Awards and $7.1 million from St. Tammany Parish. Both contributions are derived from American Rescue Plan Act funding.

"Today's groundbreaking marks the commitment of both the St. Tammany Legislative delegation and Parish President Cooper's Administration to providing much needed improvements to the water system for the Cross Gates community,” said state Rep. Mary DuBuisson. “This is why we created the Water Sector Program, so that communities will have the necessary system upgrades that will provide our citizens confidence in their water."

Once entirely completed, which is required by 2026, the investment will create resiliency and provide consolidation for the entire Cross Gates Water System, which benefits more than 8,100 citizens in Cross Gates, Meadow Lake, Ozone Pines, Southern Manor Mobile Home Park and Lazy Wheels Mobile Home Park.

In addition to providing new infrastructure, the consolidation will provide secondary water sources, offer much needed storage capacity and fire protection and provide resiliency during severe weather events.

At the groundbreaking on Monday, October 23, President Cooper personally thanked the entire Northshore legislative delegation and the St. Tammany Parish Council for their efforts in allocating the funding for these projects.

In addition to Water Sector Phase 1 funding, St. Tammany Parish Government actively pursued and was awarded $62 million for Water Sector Phase 2, which focused on creating resiliency, consolidating water systems and improving water quality within Department of Utilities systems in Slidell and the Madisonville/Covington areas.
 

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October 24th & October 26th On-Site Sewer Ordinance Public Meeting Notice

In March of 2022, Parish President Mike Cooper created the Undertreated Wastewater Task Force to address the environmental and public health impacts from poorly treated wastewater discharged from on-site sewage disposal systems (OSDS). The Task Force included stakeholders from State & Parish Agencies, as well as academic, environmental & community leaders.  The proposed ordinance grew out of the Task Force discussions and the acknowledged need for better management of OSDS.  

Because the EPA and DEQ have listed most of the waterways in St. Tammany as impaired from the discharges of OSDS, the ordinance proposes to require the inspection of the systems every 3 years. Exemptions will be made for systems that have no off-site discharge.

The goal of the OSDS Ordinance is to bring heightened awareness to the public of the need for proper sewage treatment and highlight the need for responsible ownership and operation of these systems.  By improving in these two areas, the Parish will improve public health and the environmental conditions that currently impair quality of life and limits economic development.

The proposed ordinance was introduced by the Parish Council earlier this year. The public meetings are being held prior to consideration of adoption.

Two public meetings will be held next week regarding the on-site sewer ordinance, which focuses on the importance of proper sewage treatment and the need for responsible ownership of on-site sewage disposal systems (septic tanks).

      -Towers Building, Slidell
        October 24th, 2023
        6 PM

      -Council Chambers, Koop Drive, Mandeville
        October 26th, 2023
        6 PM

 

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PRESIDENT COOPER ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL 2023 WASTE DROP-OFF DAY

 

ST. TAMMANY, La. - President Mike Cooper has announced an additional 2023 Waste Collection Day will be held on October 28, 2023 at the Oak Harbor Park and Ride in Slidell. Participants must pre-register to drop off waste as the event is limited to the first 200 registrants.

“Household waste drop-off days are incredibly important for many families in St. Tammany Parish,” said President Cooper. “I am proud of our team, who worked hard to provide another drop-off day this year. I encourage all of our citizens to reserve their time slot and start gathering your household waste for us to dispose.”

The October 28 event will be held from 8:00 a.m. – Noon at the Oak Harbor Park -n- Ride Facility located at 98 Harbor Center Boulevard in Slidell. To register your time, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0848A9AA22A3FCC70-44402627-waste

The following items will be collected:

  •   •Tires (no more than 4). No rims on tires.
  •   •Batteries
  •   •Glass
  •   •Computers / Electronics / Televisions / Monitors
  •   •Documents to be shredded on-site (limited to 3 copy paper-sized boxes).

No paint, liquid wastes or appliances will be accepted. Pre-registration is required to drop-off waste.

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President Cooper’s Proposed 2024 Budget, Featuring Record Infrastructure Investment, Introduced by Council

Cooper Administration's Infrastructure Improvements to Move Forward with Northshore Lawmakers Efforts

Parish President Mike Cooper’s proposed 2024 budget, which includes a third consecutive record infrastructure investment totaling $57 million, was introduced by the Parish Council Wednesday evening.

“This proposed budget further renews my administration’s commitment to addressing our citizens’ top concerns of infrastructure and drainage, while putting measures in place to require smarter growth,” said President Cooper. “I want to personally acknowledge our staff, Team Tammany, who have worked with officials, community stakeholders and citizens to identify needs and prepare a budget that reflect their values.”

Some of the projects include the assessment of proposed new roads across our Parish, necessary repairs to the Tammany Trace, new stormwater detention ponds to support our existing drainage systems, projects which will improve our water systems, coastal protection and restoration measures, as well as many additional, long-overdue improvements so that St. Tammany Parish remains the top place to live, work and play in Louisiana.

In addition to more than $16 million being allocated to the 14 Council districts, some of the proposed projects include the following:

    •Roadway improvements:
            -Helenbirg Road in Covington
            -Dixie Ranch Road in Slidell
            -Jim Parker Road in Pearl River
    •Drainage projects for construction:
            -Ozone Woods in Lacombe
            -Spanish Trail Heights in Slidell
            -Pruden Creek in Covington
            -Rosedown Way in Mandeville
    •Bridges to be replaced:
            -Rousseau Road Bridge in Covington
            -Middle Pearl Drive Bridge in Slidell
            -Chris Kennedy Road Bridge in Pearl River
            -Smith Road Bridge in Covington

“I appreciate the Council’s partnership in identifying roadways that will impact citizens daily. As I have said from the beginning and reflected through our daily work, we must move away from a segmented approach and move forward as one Parish and implement projects and plans that benefit everyone.”

The budget was introduced by the Parish Council at its Special Meeting on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. Public hearing will be held at a later date, prior to adoption later this year. 

To view the proposed budget, click here.
 

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President Cooper Reaffirms the St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier Will Be Rebuilt

The St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier in Slidell will be rebuilt, President Mike Cooper reaffirms.

The Pier was destroyed by Hurricane Ida days before it was scheduled to re-open after an expansion project. Since then, St. Tammany Parish Government has been working with FEMA to not only rebuild the pier, but make it stronger.

If we were to only replace the Pier as it was, it would leave the structure vulnerable for future storms to ravage the Pier again and again. Instead, we proposed building a stronger, more sustainable facility utilizing structural concrete, for which we are still awaiting final approval from FEMA.

While approval is pending, we have been designing the stronger Pier so we will be ready to begin as soon as we gain approval. We have called FEMA weekly to push along the process. This is a $3 million project, so it is imperative that we await federal funding. The project includes the Pier, restrooms, parking and more.

While the process is ongoing, St. Tammany Parish Government is designing coastal protection for the area, which includes a breakwater, as well as a boat ramp, additional parking, dredging of the cove and more.

“Let me be totally clear. We will rebuild the Fishing Pier in Slidell, but it must be more sustainable,” said President Cooper. “Our intentions are to revitalize this Pier for citizens to enjoy, without fear of damage from future hurricanes. Resiliency has been a driving factor in my administration, whether it is infrastructure, development, or the St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier.”

We are hopeful to begin construction in 2024 with completion in 2025.
 

 

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    21490 Koop Dr.
    Mandeville, LA 70471
    985.898.2700

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