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St. Tammany Parish Government Officials will Officially Allocate BUILD Grant Match at January Council Meeting

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced on January 3, 2019, that she has requested the St. Tammany Parish Council adopt a resolution to appropriate $7.2 Million in funding for the I-12 Widening project to satisfy St. Tammany Parish Government’s funding match as part of the BUILD Grant Award terms, at tonight’s Parish Council meeting.

“We entered into this nationwide competitive grant competition in 2018, with the intention of winning it, and so we set aside unexpended revenue in anticipation of needing our portion of the local match funding. Tonight, we will make this funding officially available,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “When the State is ready to move on this project, we will be ready on our end to make this project happen.”

The resolution proposes an amendment to the Capital Improvement Budget. A companion ordinance is also on the agenda for introduction to amend the Public Works Fund, the source of the $7.2 million match. This ordinance is expected to be adopted at the February 7, 2019 meeting, making the funding available for the end of February 2019, if adopted.

In early December 2018, Pat Brister announced that St. Tammany Parish won a competitive Federal BUILD Grant in the amount of $25 million. The $36 million total application encompasses $25 million in BUILD Grant funding; $7.2 million match from St. Tammany Parish Government; and a $3.8 million contribution from LADOTD. The project start date is to be determined after consultation with LADOTD.

Brister has been pushing for the prioritization of the I-12 widening project since 2013. In early June of 2018, she appealed to Governor John Bel Edwards and the LADOTD to move up the timeline of the project, after the state had previously pushed back construction, and in the wake of a fatal accident over Memorial Day weekend.

She also met several times with LADOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson to ensure the design of the project would continue as her search for funding continued, so that when the funding was identified, the project would be shovel-ready, as well as to request immediate short-term safety solutions. She announced the application for the BUILD Grant in mid-July and committed to $7.2 million in funding from Parish Government. The Louisiana Congressional delegation offered their written support, and made appeals through letters to U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Choa.

State LADOTD officials said in a December press conference announcing the award that work could begin as early as 2020 on this project.

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St. Tammany Awarded $25 million BUILD Grant to Widen I-12

St. Tammany Awarded $25 million BUILD Grant to Widen I-12

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced today that St. Tammany was awarded $25 million in BUILD grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the I-12 widening project.

“This is a huge win for all of us — the St. Tammany community and the people who travel this interstate. To see that the federal government has chosen to support our mission in making our interstate system safer by awarding this $25 million BUILD Grant, reinforces the necessity of this project. We can’t wait to get started. We also sincerely appreciate the leadership and efforts of our Congressman Steve Scalise and the rest of the Louisiana delegation on securing this funding.” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “We committed to doing our part to find a funding source for this project, and this first step is a success, which means we can move forward in the plans to make the I-12 safer for travel. We will still continue to seek support and funding from every possible source, and we will continue to push for immediate action. The safety of St. Tammany and every person who comes through here is — and has always been— my top concern.”

"This $25 million grant to widen I-12 in St. Tammany has long been a top priority of mine, and the recent tragedy over Memorial Day weekend underscored why this project is needed, and why today’s announcement by DOT Secretary Chao is so important. I especially thank St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister for being a leader, ally, and strong local advocate for this critical project," said U.S Congressman Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip.

“These resources will go toward critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana that will create jobs and support economic growth. Widening I-12 will eliminate bottlenecks in St. Tammany Parish and improve highway safety,” said U.S. Senator, Dr. Bill Cassidy. “During our phone call this morning I gave a big thank you to Secretary Chao for listening to our needs and approving these resources.”

“The widening of Interstate 12 is critical to public safety.  After the Memorial Day weekend fatalities, I started working with state and local leaders to convince Secretary Chao that this funding was necessary to save lives. I want to thank St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister and state Sen. Jack Donahue for working tirelessly with me on this project,” said U. S. Senator John Kennedy.

Brister has been pushing for the prioritization of the I-12 widening project since 2013. In early June of 2018, she appealed to Governor John Bel Edwards and the LADOTD to move up the timeline of the project, after the state had previously pushed back construction and in the wake of a fatal accident over Memorial Day weekend. She also met several times with LADOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson to ensure the design of the project would continue as her search for funding continued, so that when the funding was identified, the project would be shovel-ready, as well as to request immediate short-term safety solutions. She announced the application for the BUILD Grant in mid-July and committed to $7.2 million in funding from Parish Government. The Louisiana Congressional delegation offered their written support in a letter to U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Choa.

The $36 million total application encompasses $25 million in BUILD Grant funding; $7.2 million match from St. Tammany Parish Government; and a $3.8 million contribution from LADOTD. The project start date is to be determined after consultation with LADOTD.

 

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St. Tammany Parish Government Accepting Statements of Qualifications for Professional Services for 2019

St. Tammany Parish Government Accepting Statements of Qualifications for Professional Services for 2019

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced today that Parish Government is accepting Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) for qualified vendors offering professional services, today through December 21, 2018 for consideration for the 2019 fiscal year.

“We want any qualified company to take part in doing business with Parish Government. We are looking for great companies to assist us in accomplishing great projects for the citizens of this Parish,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “We want businesses to take this opportunity to submit their SOQs for consideration for our pre-qualified vendors list where they will be evaluated for their expertise and experience.”

Individuals and businesses wishing to be considered, can find the current SOQ form on the Parish’s website or by clicking here. SOQ documents will not be accepted after the deadline. Individuals or firms evaluated as qualified must be active and In Good Standing with the Louisiana Secretary of State and licensed to do business in the State of Louisiana. Find a comprehensive list of guidelines that must be followed for consideration here. All submissions will be considered for designation as Pre-Qualified Professional Vendors. Individuals and businesses will be notified by the St. Tammany Parish Government Department of Procurement with the results of their submission requests.

All individuals and firms who are listed on the existing Pre-Qualified Professional Service List will remain on the list through the remainder of 2018 through 2019. All vendors will need to resubmit for the 2020-2021 qualification period at a time to be determined in late 2019.

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Sign up for Public Notices here to stay up-to-date with public meetings, receive Requests for Proposals (RFP), Requests for Qualifications (RFQ), Requests for Bids (RFB), and Notices of Quote Requests (Quotes). You can also see advertisements for RFPs, RFQs, RFBs and Quote, here.

 

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19th Annual Holiday of Lights Kicks off in one Week — Friday December 7, 2018

19th Annual Holiday of Lights Kicks off in one Week — Friday December 7, 2018

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced the 19th Annual Holiday of Lights in St. Tammany Parish kicks off on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 5:45 on Koop Drive in Mandeville. This free event runs for two consecutive weekends — Friday, December 7; Saturday, December 8; Friday, December 14; and Saturday, December 15, 2018. Enjoy entertainment from local schools and area performance groups, a special appearance by a live Reindeer on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 7:30 -8:30 p.m. , decorated Christmas trees by schools and other organizations, and free kiddie rides by Mitchell Brothers Amusement.  

Santa will be on-hand for pictures with the children at a cost of $20.00 each, printed while you wait, and refreshments will be available for purchase. The Holiday of Lights is open the weekends of December 7and 8, and December 14 and 15, 2018, from 6p.m.  – 8:30 p.m. at Koop Drive in Mandeville directly behind the Kid’s Konnection Playground.

For more information please call the Tammany Trace Trailhead at 985-867-9490.  

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U.S. Senator John Kennedy Visits Safe Haven Campus with Members of the Safe Haven Foundation

U.S. Senator John Kennedy Visits Safe Haven Campus with Members of the Safe Haven Foundation

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, joined U.S. Senator John Kennedy, and Louisiana State Senator Jack Donahue, for a presentation while visiting the Safe Haven campus in the Mandeville area. The visit was organized by Donahue, who is also the chairman of the newly formed Safe Haven Foundation — established to act as a support arm of the Safe Haven Project and to augment the funding of certain aspects of the project through volunteerism, fundraising and raising public awareness.

“This project is the result of leadership,” said U.S. Senator John Kennedy. “The leaders in St. Tammany took a problem —the closure of Southeast Hospital — and turned it into a long-term solution with the Safe Haven initiative.”

Louisiana State Senator Jack Donahue lauded the visit as an opportunity for Senator Kennedy to get an up-close look at the progress underway at the campus, and the work that is still needed.  “Safe Haven is making a difference on the North Shore and surrounding areas.  Senator Kennedy is coming to visit the facilities and to get an update on the great work that is being done.  His continuing interest in Safe Haven is another key to its success.”

“Even though Safe Haven is still in its early stages, we continue to work on bringing the entire campus to life,” Said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “It is absolutely essential that we make people aware of what is already available at the facilities out here — the NAMI St. Tammany Day Center, Fontainebleau Treatment Center and Northlake Behavioral Health, to name a few. We still have much to accomplish at Safe Haven, and support from the top down is critical to achieving success with this model, and ultimately helping people with behavioral health needs.”

Initiatives underway include: The NAMI St. Tammany Day Center, now open and providing transportation; in the first quarter of 2019, ground is expected to be broken on the Crisis Receiving Center— considered the anchor of the Safe Haven facility model; work is expected to begin in 2019 on the green infrastructure project grant-funded by the LA Safe initiative; and the Family Promise Day Center — the signature project of the Safe Haven Foundation. 

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FEMA Individual Assistance Teams visit Tallow Creek Residents at the Request of Parish President

FEMA Individual Assistance Teams visit Tallow Creek Residents at the Request of Parish President

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, requested through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOSHEP) that FEMA Individual Assistance teams do an assessment of the homes and needs of the families in Tallow Creek, affected by the November 1, 2018 tornado that touched down in the Covington area subdivision.

“These teams assess the situation in the aftermath of a disaster, and determine if the people who were affected have any unmet needs, not covered by insurance,” Brister said. “This event, though it impacted a condensed area, was traumatic for those involved, and so we want to utilize every possible resource at our disposal to help these families make things right.”

Following her on-site visit to Tallow Creek the morning of the storm, Brister instructed EOC personnel to coordinate with faith-based groups to assist homeowners with temporary tarps for roof damage, and to request assistance from the Red Cross. The FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial help or direct services to those who have necessary expenses and serious needs if they are unable to meet these needs through other means. Parish Government will await the analysis from GOSHEP and FEMA following the completion of the assessments.

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Sign up now for ALERT St. Tammany, here. This is the Parish-wide emergency notification system for St. Tammany Parish Government. If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.

 

 

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Tammany Trace Extension into Camp Salmen — Update

Tammany Trace Extension into Camp Salmen — Update

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced today the project to bring the Tammany Trace into Camp Salmen Nature Park is roughly 60% complete. The pathway within Camp Salmen is ready for asphalt and this will take place as soon base material installation is completed on the section of the path from Neslo Road and Highway 190.

“This long-awaited collaboration between the Parish, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, and the City of Slidell, is definitely taking shape, and crews are on schedule,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “We are looking forward to connecting all of Slidell to the Tammany Trace, and eventually, connecting all the way through to Heritage Park. We are definitely moving forward, despite small challenges with the weather, and we wanted to update everyone with the status so far.”

Crews are essentially constructing an entirely new path through a primarily wooded area, near an adjacent busy thoroughfare. The extension will span 1.5 miles from the end of the Tammany Trace at Neslo Road, and culminate where Melody Drive connects to Camp Salmen Nature Park on Parish Parkway.  The projected timeline estimates completion by January 2019, barring any other weather delays. 

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Collaboration Between St. Tammany Parish Government and City of Slidell Brings Nearly $1 million in Improvements to Airport Rd./ Northshore Boulevard

Collaboration Between St. Tammany Parish Government and City of Slidell Brings Nearly $1 million in Improvements to Airport Rd./ Northshore Boulevard

Pat Brister St. Tammany Parish President, and Greg Cromer, City of Slidell, Mayor, announced a $935,030.00 collaborative roadway improvement project on Airport Road in the Slidell Area will begin the evening of Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

“Our goal is to make the most of all of our resources to make improvements happen, no matter where the boundary lines end,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “We are looking forward to continued collaboration with the City of Slidell to keep St. Tammany’s infrastructure sound, so that residents can enjoy safe, efficient travel.”

“The City of Slidell is very fortunate to be working with St. Tammany Parish for the mill and overlay project on Airport Blvd.,” said Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer. “We have a great relationship with President Brister and St. Tammany Parish Government and we look forward to working with them on future projects to benefit all of our citizens.”

The project will extend from where Airport Road meets the Slidell Municipal Airport, to the intersection of Northshore Boulevard and U.S. 190 (Gause Boulevard), and will include the mill and overlay of the roadway, roadway striping, and sidewalk improvements. The project is expected to be complete in early 2019.

Photo Left to Right: Steve Stefancik, St. Tammany Parish Council, District 11; Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President; Greg Cromer, Mayor, City of Slidell; Val Vanney, Jr., Slidell City Council, Distirct D

 

 

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Local Agencies Benefit from Sexual Harassment and Ethics Training Offered by St. Tammany Parish Government

Local Agencies Benefit from Sexual Harassment and Ethics Training Offered by St. Tammany Parish Government

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, was proud to host live training sessions of mandatory Sexual Harassment and Ethics Training for local agencies throughout the Parish. Seven sessions were offered at four locations, on different days in late October, conducted by Parish employees who are certified trainers. In addition to the St. Tammany Parish President and over 400 additional Parish Government employees, employees from the City of Covington Public Works Department, Parish Planning Commissioners, Parish Board of Adjustment members and St. Tammany Parish Council members attended the training.

“This was a way for us to give all employees who are required to take this training, an opportunity to complete it at a dedicated time and place,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “It also reinforces every employee’s right to work in a secure, safe workplace and lets them know what is expected of them, gives us assurance that our employees are receiving the required training, and lets us document their participation.”  

State Law requires public employees to complete one hour per year of Ethics Training, and one hour per year of Sexual Harassment Training. The Ethics Course has an online option, but the Sexual Harassment Training does not. The live training session, created by Adrienne Stroble, Director of Human Resources of St. Tammany Parish Government, satisfied the Sexual Harassment Training requirement.

 

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Tammany Utilities Continues Ongoing Capital Improvements with the Addition of Auto-dialers

Tammany Utilities Continues Ongoing Capital Improvements with the Addition of Auto-dialers

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced today the continuation of capital improvements to the Tammany Utilities (TU) water and sewer systems with the installation of ten auto-dialers at critical water wells and sewer lift stations across the TU service areas. A total of 80 auto-dialers will be installed over the next several weeks as weather permits, and additional auto-dialers are budgeted for 2019. The dialers are custom-programmed with emergency numbers so that if an issue occurs at a lift station, well, or with a pump, TU staff is notified immediately, no matter the time of day or night.

“With the installation of these auto-dialers, we may be able to lessen the frequency of boil advisories by addressing things that cause the well systems to lose pressure before the pressure drops to a critical point triggering those advisories,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “But this is just one plus to these devices. In addition, they will increase efficiency in our response time in the event of a failure, they add to the peace of mind for TU customers as well as our staff, and ultimately, they will save money. We will continue this capital improvement investment to enhance our maintenance and improve the system overall.”

The auto-dialers will give TU personnel advance warning of problems with water wells, with the hope that any issues affecting the well can be addressed before the system loses pressure, thereby preventing the frequency of boil advisories.  These dialers will also help identify problems with pumps before they fail due to a clog, or other malfunction, as well as immediate alerts to other issues which could lead to system spills.

Since the start of 2018, nearly $200,000 in capital improvements investments to the Tammany Utilities Water and Sewer System have been in progress.

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To see notices about service interruptions or boil water advisories visit the Tammany Utilities webpage at: www.stpgov.org/departments/tammany-utilities. To be notified by text or phone about events that will impact your water service, sign up for ALERT St. Tammany here

 

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