Site for new health unit decided

By: Paul Kedinger
Members of the Acadia Police Jury’s Building and Grounds Committee Wednesday night voted to recommend a new parish health unit be constructed on Jury owned land on Capitol Avenue, discarding proposals to erect the health unit on property adjacent to the American Legion Hospital.

Jurors also recommended that the health facility be patterned after a new health unit being constructed in New Iberia, and that the architect for the New Iberia unit be employed to design a smaller version of the same layout for Acadia Parish.

While the New Iberia unit is approximately 13,000 square feet, the Acadia Parish facility would more likely be 11,000 square feet in size.

Barbara Hebert, Region 4 nurse consultant with the Office of Public Health told jurors the New Iberia design “flows very well.” Hebert also complimented architect, Terry Saucier, for his attention to staff suggestions and plan details.

Hebert, however, suggested the Department of Health and Hospital would prefer to have the unit built near medical facilities.

While Jury President A.J. Credeur said, “I believe the health unit needs to be next to medical facilities, Jurors John Quebodeaux and Felton “Tony” Moreau sided with Juror Alton Stevenson’s point that “we already have the property.”

It was also noted that the Jury has yet to receive an attorney general’s opinion regarding placing a public building on leased private property.

The committee also heard a report from Emergency Preparedness Director Lee Hebert regarding courthouse security measures, an issue brought to the Jury by District Judge Kristian Earles last month.

After conferring with Judge Earles, Hebert gathered information on a metal detector, surveillance cameras and an magnetic card swiping system to be used by courthouse employees.

Hebert reported a metal detection system would cost in the range of $5,000 and that a system of 13 security cameras would cost $14,000.

Hebert added he was still waiting for price figures for the card swipe system.

The committee members agreed with Juror Quebodeaux’s suggestion to proceed with a metal detector and the card swipe system which was apparently the main concern of the district judges.

The mental detector would be installed at the main entrance and the card swipe system installed at other courthouse entrances. The general public would be directed to use only the main entrance.

The Solid Waste Committee recommended the parish seek a permit modification to use tire chips in the landfill liner construction.

The tire chips would supplement a sand layer at a projected savings of $100, 000 to $125,000.

The scrap tire chips have already been approved by the Department of Environmental Quality, according to Bill Woljevach of Colt, Inc., a scrap tire center in Scott.

The ground up tire chips would be free of charge to the parish.

The committee also recommended use of vegetative matter as a daily cover at the landfill instead of the more costly dirt cover now used.

Jurors also recommended accepting the low bid of $684,800 from Patriot Construction and Equipment, LLC to excavate the phase III section of the parish landfill.

The Finance Committee accepted bids for blacktop chip seal materials and hiring of Associated Design Group for engineering services to install new chiller units at the courthouse.

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