After three beneficial meetings, Parish Presidents from the South Louisiana region have decided to form an organized association, with set meetings on a regular basis. The original meeting occurred in St. Tammany Parish in February of this year. This was an informal coalition-building, idea exchange to discuss many of the pressing and critical issues that are facing the State. The group has since met two additional times for the same purpose. At their meeting last week, it was decided that this informal coalition would now be formalized.
“These meetings have yielded amazing results,” said Brister. “Not only have we gotten to know one another personally and professionally, we have learned that though we come from different regions, and different sized communities, we all face similar problems. When we come together, we exchange ideas, gain new perspectives, and work together as a force in our region to advocate for what is best for our residents at the local level. It is a phenomenal resource for each one of us.”
In addition, the Chief Administrative Officers (CAO) for each Parish involved have decided to from their own coalition for the same purpose. To date, 21 Parishes have been invited to participate.
The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) recognized Kelly Rabalais, Executive Counsel and Director of the Legal Department for St. Tammany Parish Government, with the Excellence in Government Award 2016 Merit Award. The annual award, established in 1994 by the BGR, recognizes government employees and private citizens for outstanding performance and creative problem-solving.
Kelly has been with St. Tammany Parish Government since 2007. Among the accomplishments that earned recognition are: facilitating Parish Government’s purchase of the Southeast Louisiana Hospital and her diligent work to ensure that the Parish will be able to accomplish the multiple goals planned for this property; her leadership role on the Safe Haven project — a multi-agency, continuum of care behavioral health facility slated to locate on the Southeast Hospital campus; and leading efforts to revise personnel policies in more than a decade.
“Kelly defines leadership by example through her actions every single day,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “She is protective, proactive and innovative in her role as Executive Counsel. She is a brilliant motivator and a positive force in our organization. Kelly will take whatever steps are necessary and right to make extraordinary things happen, and she will see a project through down to the smallest detail. She is a driving force in bringing the operations of Parish Government into the future as we continue grow. We are very proud of Kelly, and we are grateful to BGR for taking the time to recognize excellence in government, as public servants are often overlooked for the work they do daily to better their communities.”
In her role as Executive Counsel and Director of the Legal Department, she serves as chief legal advisor and provides legal representation to the Parish President, Parish Administration and Parish Departments. Major functions provided by the Legal Department include: process and conduct all land acquisitions; review and approve all contracts; receive and process all records requests; review public bid proposals and requests for proposals, respond to bid protests, enforce contracts, and provide legal advice on procurement issues. They are also responsible for the administration of the Risk Management Office.
The BGR is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization that is dedicated to gathering information on government and other public issues.
President Pat Brister has released the 2015 St. Tammany Parish Annual Report. The report pinpoints in detail, the revenues and expenditures of St. Tammany Parish Government, as well as accomplishments by departments within Parish Government, in keeping with the tenets of customer service, transparency, collaboration and accountability embraced by the Brister administration. To save on cost, limited numbers of the abbreviated Annual Report are printed, and the remainder of entire report can be reviewed at www.stpgov.org.
“The Annual Report offers a glimpse into how Parish Government works,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “I encourage every citizen to learn more about the inner workings of Parish Government departments through this report. As always we welcome and encourage citizen input and involvement.”
Printed copies of the reports are available for pickup in St. Tammany Parish libraries and at Parish Offices. The entire report, including reports on individual departments of St. Tammany Parish Government, can be viewed at www.stpgov.org.
St. Tammany Parish Government has initiated the process of an online-adjudicated property auction through CivicSource, a leading auctioneer of tax-distressed real estate. The goal of this on-going property auction is to achieve multiple objectives including, the placement of adjudicated properties back into commerce, the reduction of blight, to offer the opportunity of property ownership in St. Tammany to every resident, and to give the original property owner a chance to settle their outstanding tax bills and redeem their properties. 1300 properties are currently being evaluated for future auctions, or redemption.
“By placing these properties back into commerce, there will be an estimated economic impact of $275,000 per year, based on their assessment in the current state — with improvements, this amount will eventually increase,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “In addition, property owners who live next door to properties already in the auction inventory, and who meet certain legal requirements, could potentially purchase that property for $1 plus closing costs. This is a great opportunity to increase their own property values, strengthen their neighborhoods, and play an essential role in blight reduction. We encourage any person interested in property ownership in St. Tammany to browse the property inventory and take advantage of this opportunity.”
“Through this online auction process, the legal legwork to vet each property is part of the purchase price of each parcel. Parish Government will have no out-of-pocket expenses, only net return,” said Kelly Rabalais, Director, St. Tammany Parish Legal Department. “In addition, the fact that anyone, from the convenience of their own home, can participate in the auction increases the exposure to the sale and increases the opportunity for investment in St. Tammany Parish.”
Interested buyers can visit www.civicsource.com to view a map, a list, or a street view of the initial auction inventory of 129 adjudicated properties and register to participate in the auction. Registered users then nominate properties that will initiate the process through a $750 deposit and place the nominated property into an active auction. With CivicSource as the auction facilitator, the final sale price of each property includes a clear title, title insurance, and closing fees. The initial $750 deposit will go toward the sale price of the winning bid. Complete details about the online auction process are available at www.civicsource.com/help, or interested buyers can call (888) 387-8033, Monday-Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. to speak with a help representative from CivicSource and have their questions answered.
The first adjudicated property sale by St. Tammany Parish Government occurred in 2013 and resulted in the sale of 81 properties for $394,400, as well as the redemption of eight properties by the original owners who also settled their outstanding tax bills with the Parish.
Today (April 27, 2016), Tammany Utilities received confirmation from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals that the water we provide you is safe for consumption. Therefore, the Boil Advisory is rescinded.
If you have any questions, please call Tammany Utilities at (985) 276-6400.
On Monday, April 25, 2016 at approximately 5 PM a water line was broken in Countryside Subdivision causing a loss in water pressure to the above identified subdivisions. The subsequent repair was completed and water service restored by 6 PM.
Out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with Department of Health and Hospital regulations, a precautionary BOIL ADVISORY is in place for the customers in the subdivisions identified above. This BOIL ADVISORY is to remain in effect until rescinded by Tammany Utilities. It is recommended that all consumers disinfect their water before consuming it (including fountain drinks), making ice, brushing teeth, or using it for food preparation or rinsing of foods by the following means:
Boil water for one (1) full minute in a clean container. The one minute starts after the water has been brought to a rolling boil. (The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a clean bottle, pouring it from one clean container to another, or by adding a small pinch of salt to each quart of water that is boiled.)
Again, please be sure to disinfect your own water prior to consumption until you have been advised otherwise.
Tammany Utilities will rescind this BOIL ADVISORY upon notification from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals ‑ Office of Public Health that additional water samples collected from our system have shown the water to be safe. We anticipate that the earliest the BOIL ADVISORY will be rescinded will be Wednesday, April 27th.
Customers affected by this advisory will be advised when it is rescinded by an automated telephone call, signs placed at the entrances to the subdivisions and notices on the Parish Government’s social media sites. If you have any questions, please call Tammany Utilities at (985) 276-6400.
St. Tammany Parish Government is extending debris pickup through Friday, April 29, 2016. Residents of St. Tammany, on both the eastern and western sides of the Parish, who have flood debris that has not yet been removed, are asked to call the Department of Public Works at 985-898-2557, and give your address. Residents are asked to adhere to FEMA guidelines for debris pickup. All debris should be separated into piles and placed at the outer perimeter of property in the right-of-way, but not blocking the roadway. If your property does not have an area of right of way large enough to accommodate the debris, please place it as close to the edge of your property line as possible. The arm of the debris removal truck must be able to reach the debris. Do not place debris in black garbage bags or it will not be picked up. Debris removal crews must be able to see the debris in order to separate it correctly. White goods in the whole of St. Tammany will be retrieved at a later date because they are disposed of in a different manner and at a different location than vegetative and construction debris, so residents are advised not to be concerned if your appliances are not picked up with the bulk of your separated debris.
The six categories are as follows: vegetative debris, construction and demolition debris, appliances and white goods, electronics, and household hazardous waste.
For questions on how to separate debris, visit www.stpgov.org/disaster, to view a brief video tutorial.