Council gives contractor 23 days to finish Bayou Conway cleanup

Staff reports

 The Parish Council at it regular meeting Thursday  approved a change order extending the original 85-day contract time for debris removal on Bayou Conway.

Mobile contractor SRS requested an additional 23 calendar days to complete the $547,561 contract due to low water levels in the bayou.

In a letter to the council, company Vice President Timothy Berkhimer said low water levels severely impacted ability to meet the original completion date on both water and land.

Berkhimer cited an e-mail from Project Inspector Mike Rogers who noted 10 days in March and four in April when SRS was unable to reach debris for removal.

Berkhimer wrote that at a progress meeting April members of the Parish Drainage Department commented that they had never seen water levels so low in bayou.

The council agreed to extend the contract completion date to June 21, or 108 days.

In another matter, the council adopted a resolution entering into a cooperative endeavor agreement with St. Elizabeth Hospital and the East Ascension Hospital Services District allowing the hospital to use the Ascension Parish Health Unit.

The hospital will provide medical services for needy parish residents as part of the agreement, operating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Both the hospital and the parish are eligible to participate in federal funding programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, according to the agreement.

Two parish nurses and a nurse practitioner from St. Elizabeth Hospital will be on staff at the clinic.

The facility will provide treatment and follow-up for primary health conditions and minor non-urgent injuries. Emergency and potential life threatening conditions will not be managed at the clinic.

One of the goals of clinic is to provide consistent care for patients unable to use other providers, with a focus on education, prevention and treatment of health conditions.

The cooperative endeavor is set to run until Jan. 1, 2013.

The Health Unit is offered in an “as is” existing condition and is to be maintained by the hospital.

In other business, the council:

• Honored Pastor Derek Smith of The Healing Place Church with a certificate of appreciation for providing shelter and assistance to west bank residents during hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.

• Named The Gonzales Weekly Citizen the Official Journal of parish government.

• Introduced an ordinance to revise Appendix IV of the Unified Land Development Code by creating a single standard for private accesses in the parish.