Parish using grants for parish improvements

Tangipahoa Parish Council members learned Monday night that funding from

continued state and federal grants for recovery from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita will be used to finance a number of parish improvements.

An additional $1.55 million has been distributed to Tangipahoa Parish resulting in a total of $2.17 million to fund and execute a long-term community recovery plan.

Council members unanimously approved a resolution that authorizes Parish President Gordon Burgess to conclude a cooperative endeavor agreement with the state's Division of Administration, Office of Community Development's Disaster Recovery Unit, to complete the rewarding of the latest funds. "The money will pay for a number of items, including drainage improvements, radios, a climate controlled storage facility to store critical emergency supplies and other equipment to assist emergency personnel in responding to disasters," Parish Staff Member Alyson LaPuma said. "In the event of future disaster the funds will be used to help ease damage to public and private property," LaPuma added.

The council also awarded two roofing contracts Monday night, that will be paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The first contract, a storm resistant roof for the Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse, was awarded to Roof Technologies, Inc., at a cost of $419,169.

The second contract, a new roof for the South Tangipahoa Parish Health Unit in Hammond, was awarded to Zimmer-Eschette Services, Inc., for $297,590.00. Both contracts were financed through hazard mitigation funds provided through FEMA.

Also Monday night, the council approved its overlay plan for the next phase of a long-range project to improve roads and highways within Tangipahoa Parish. In the coming year, the parish will spend approximately $5 million to hard-surface a long list of roads. "The available money should cover all the projects on the list," Parish Engineer Maurice Jordan said. "However, the cost of asphalt and other materials can vary with the overall cost of petroleum products," Jordan cautioned. He warned council members that if funds are non sufficient to cover all roads slated for improvement, then some projects may have to be trimmed.

In other business Monday night, the council elected Councilman Carlo Bruno to serve as chairman for the 2009 calendar year. Councilman Carlos Notariano was chosen as vice-chair and was selected as clerk of council.

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