News

News

Plans for Safe Haven Campus in Mandeville Rolled Out

 

ICYMI – Plans for Safe Haven Campus in Mandeville Rolled Out

St. Tammany Parish Government, in conjunction with Kurt Salmon, a leading Health Care consultant firm, unveiled the strategic plans for the Parish's Safe Haven Campus earlier this week at a Town Hall meeting. Parish President Pat Brister opened the public meeting by articulating her vision for the future of behavioral healthcare on the campus. The purpose of the meeting was to share with the community, the culmination of the planning efforts by the Safe Haven Task Force and stakeholder interviews.  The presentation included an overview of the planning process, a discussion of the current state of behavioral health, both on a national level and in St. Tammany, the Safe Haven vision and goals, and the Safe Haven Campus Master Plan.

“In 2012, when the State of Louisiana announced the closure of Southeast Hospital — the state of Behavioral Health services in St. Tammany was dire,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “However, what once seemed like a curse — the end of available behavioral health services in our community — turned into the inspired beginning of our vision of a model for the continuum of care of behavioral health services. We will capitalize on the partnerships that assisted us in saving behavioral healthcare in the Parish to further the vision of Safe Haven.”

Brister went on to say, "This campus and its operations will be a gold standard for other communities across the country to emulate. More importantly, the people we care about, who need assistance, will get the help they deserve. This is a systemic problem, requiring all agencies to work collaboratively while keeping the patient at the center of all of our decisions and actions." 

The proposed Safe Haven timeline includes the planning and design of behavioral healthcare that will allow patients to be offered all the services they might need through partnerships borne out of the launch of Safe Haven. Additionally, remediation and renovation of the current buildings on campus will provide a home to multiple agencies in order to provide critical services in a convenient location. The remediation and renovations of the main facilities are expected to begin in early 2017, with two facilities operational — the NAMI drop-In Center, and the Family Promise Day Center — by mid-2017. The first phase of the long-term strategy will include crisis intervention and healing services centers which are expected to be fully operational by 2019.  

The Safe Haven Campus is located at the site of the former Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville. The vision of Safe Haven is as follows:  Safe Haven will provide a collaborative healing environment for the behavioral health continuum by creating a high-quality, coordinated, sustainable and humane network of care anchored in St. Tammany Parish.   

To learn more about the project and updates on the progress of the facility, visit www.safehavenstp.org.

 

 

 

St. Tammany Parish Government Will Not Increase Millage Rate

 
St. Tammany Parish Government will not increase property taxes in 2016, through a millage rate increase. Parish Government will adopt the adjusted millages set by the assessor’s office. 
“Parish Government will not raise property taxes this year through a millage increase,” Said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “We are accountable for every tax dollar that we take in, and as such, it is important that residents know that we continue to work within our means as we have since the start of my administration. We have not increased our millage rate since 2006.”  
“The St. Tammany Parish Council does not take taxation lightly, and we thoroughly consider the implications that come with a millage increase,” said Marty Dean, St. Tammany Parish Council Chairman. “Therefore, we will not adopt a millage rate increase, but we will adopt the adjusted millages set by the St. Tammany Assessor’s Office.”
 

PRECAUTIONARY BOIL ADVISORY Alton Community in Slidell Alton Water System (PWS 1103145)

PRECAUTIONARY BOIL ADVISORY

 Alton Community in Slidell

Alton Water System (PWS 1103145)

On Friday, June 10, 2016, at approximately 5:30 PM, an electrical issue caused the Alton Water System to lose pressure.  Once water service is restored, out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with Department of Health and Hospital regulations, a precautionary BOIL ADVISORY will be in place for Tammany Utilities customers in the Alton Community.

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 Tuesday, June 14th

 

Customers affected by this advisory will be advised when it is rescinded by an automated phone call, signs placed throughout the neighborhood and notices on the Parish Government’s social media sites.  If you have any questions, please call Tammany Utilities at (985) 643-1376.

World Changers Return to St. Tammany Parish for a Fifth Year

For five consecutive days,beginning Monday,June 13,volunteers from the Lifewaygroup, WorldChangers, will give new life to thehomes of low to moderate-income families in St. Tammany Parish. This year, the World Changers group includes 140 participants, from nine different churches and six different states —Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.  The homeowners were selected through an application process,and many are disabled and/orelderly.  Residences who will receive repairs are located in Abita Springs, Covington, Lacombe, and Madisonville and unincorporated St. Tammany Parish.   This is the fifth year the group has worked with St. Tammany Parish Government.

“World Changers every year, comes here and improves the lives of those who need it most, and we are so grateful for their presence,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “This is an example of why we value collaboration here in St. Tammany, because when we work together — public, faith-based and private organizations — and bring our strengths together, so much is accomplished, and so many people’s lives are impacted in a positive way.”

Dr. Bill Boren, Family Life Pastor at First Baptist Church Covingtonand Project Coordinator for the local project added,“This World Changers project is a great opportunity for partnership between theNorthshore Baptist Association of Churches and local Parish Government.  It is wonderful to see how we can work together to help our community.  By the end of the week, St. Tammany Parish, a wonderful place to live, will be even better.  World Changers is a wonderful picture of faith in action.”Many of the local churches are supporting the event by providing lunch each day to the volunteers at the worksites.The studentswill be housed at First Baptist Church of Covington for the week.

Approximately $25,000 in materials used to complete the repairs,like lumber, paint, windows and doors,are purchased through a Community Development Block Grant (CBDG).Repairs and improvements to the homes included building ramps and decks, replacing siding, doors and windows, pressure washing, tree trimming and landscaping.  On average,the expense for participating students to volunteer and take part in this project is $300,an expense incurred solely by the volunteers.By harnessing the enthusiasm and dedication of volunteers,the Parish’s investment yields a great impact,both economically and socially, to the community.

 

Formoreinformation about World Changers,visit www.lifeway.com/worldchangers.

The Hokie Gajan Family Fishing Rodeo Coming up at the St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier

The annual St.  Tammany  Parish  Fishing  Pier  Hokie  Gajan  Family  Fishing  Rodeo  is Saturday, June 18, 2016.This year the event  will honor the late Hokie Gajan, Northshore native and lover of all things bound to nature. Come and meet Hokie’s family, create some of your own fish stories, support the St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier, and Honor Hokie’s passion.

St. Tammany Parish Government has partnered with the Gajan family and Gajan’s Got Game, the foundation Hokie’s family started in his name. Sponsors of the rodeo include, Pro Printers and Sportsmen’s Warehouse.  Registration begins at 6 a.m. and weigh-in is at noon. Entry fees are $10 for everyone 12 and older, and $5 for everyone under the age of 12. Cash and checks are the only forms of payment that will be accepted. Prizes will be awarded to the top two fish in each of the six categories, in each age group (adult and child). Weighmaster’s Top Pick will also be awarded. Complete rules as well as the registration form can be found at www.sttammanyfishingpier.com. For additional information call 985-649-1922. The St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier is owned and operated by St. Tammany Parish Government. It is located near Slidell at 54001 East Howze Beach Road.

 

Partners Launch Tammany Trails

Partners Launch Tammany Trails

 

St. Tammany Parish Government as well as the Louisiana Office of State Parks and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were on-hand today at Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville, to kick off Tammany Trails. Tammany Trails is a co-branding partnership between local, State and Federal Agencies to promote the green and blue trails, both primitive and improved, throughout our entire Parish no matter the agency they fall under. This initiative also seeks to form partnerships among agencies at all levels to focus on recreation, conservation, tourism and economic development. Through an online presence, Tammany Trails will provide mapping and other resources related to the navigation of the trails. In addition, Tammany Trails will incrementally implement signage on the greenways and blueways throughout St. Tammany.

“This is a collective mission that is multidimensional and will achieve multiple objectives,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “And I want to commend our partner agencies for their enthusiasm and participation. St. Tammany is often known for setting a pace in our State on innovation and Tammany Trails is no exception. Our natural resources are one of our most valuable assets, not just in St. Tammany, but throughout the entire State of Louisiana, so to work together to raise awareness about how they enhance our unparalleled quality of life, and to give our children and their children this gift to utilize, care for, and conserve — this will impact our community on several levels for generations.”

“Our State Parks are treasured amenities in Louisiana, and to raise awareness about the possibilities that are open to families, tourists and anyone who just wishes to enjoy nature, is a great thing for our state,” said Billy Nungesser, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Louisiana. “We welcome this initiative and stand with St. Tammany Parish Government and our partner agencies as together we build on the future of Tammany Trails.”

“Any initiative that increases access to the outdoors is a program that our agency will rally behind,” said Charlie Melancon, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “We are proud to partner with St. Tammany Parish and the Tammany Trails program to encourage access to the many miles of trails and waterways in the Parish.”

The benefits of co-branding trail ways include: increased visibility, added tourism opportunities, conservation of these natural resources and the economic impact of having such a wealth of available outdoor recreational opportunities to locals and visitors alike. As lagniappe, the formation of these partnerships at all levels of government can have great impact on this effort when working as one. To learn more about Tammany Trails, visit www.tammanytrails.org.

 

The following partner agencies thus far:

§  St. Tammany Parish Government – The mission of St. Tammany Parish Government is to provide and enhance services that support the health, safety and quality of life of our residents and communities in a transparent, efficient and fiscally responsible way

§  The Lieutenant Governor’s office

§  Office of Louisiana State Parks

§  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Pearl River Wildlife Management area

§  Northlake Nature Center

§  Wildlife and Fisheries

§  Land Trust for Louisiana

§  The Nature Conservancy

§  City of Slidell

§  The Tammany Trace Foundation

§  Town of Abita Springs

§  City of Covington

§  City of Mandeville

§  Town of Pearl River

§  St. Tammany Recreation Districts #1

 

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Cleco Presents St. Tammany Parish Government with CitySmart Incentive Check for over $23,000

St. Tammany Parish Government received their second rebate check in the amount of $23, 212.04 from Cleco, as part of the CitySmart—Commercial and Industrial Solutions Program. The first check, presented in November of 2015, was in the amount of $36,234.55.  Over the past sixteen months, the St. Tammany Parish Department of Facilities Management identified several areas in which to maximize energy efficiency through the installation of new energy efficient technologies. Once these changes were in place, Cleco verified the improvements and calculated program incentives based upon the estimated annualized energy savings.

The grant incentive that was earned in this period includes upgrades performed at the Justice Center, the Wellness Center, Building B, on Koop Drive, and the Fairgrounds Annex building. 

Pictured L to R: Vince Talazac, CLEAResult; Scott Biggers, Manager , Community and Business Development, Cleco Power, LLC; Daniel R. Schaus, Principal Governmental Affairs Representative, Cleco Power, LLC; Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President; Richard Fields, Project Manager, St. Tammany Parish Department of Facilities Management.

 

St. Tammany Parish Government Offices Closed in Observance of Memorial Day

All non-emergency offices of St. Tammany Parish Government will be closed, on Monday, May 30, 2016, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition, the Department of Animal Services will be closed on Saturday, May, 28, 2016. Regular business hours will resume Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 8 a.m.

South Louisiana Parish Presidents Formalize Group

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. 

Kelly Rabalais, St. Tammany Parish Government Executive Counsel Earns Excellence in Government Award

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.