The dock will be constructed just north of the railroad bridge in Berwick, said Berwick Mayor Louis Ratcliff. No dock exists there, he said. “It’s about a 200-foot section, which will give us an added dock area for vessels to tie up to. The $90,000 also includes some money in there for a contractor to come in to actually drive the piles, but other than that, everything else is going to be done with city crews and equipment,” Ratcliff said. The money from the port will go toward paying for the materials to build the dock, he said.
Work is expected to begin on the dock sometime in the spring and should take between 120 days and 180 days to complete, Ratcliff said.
The Morgan City police and fire departments each received reimbursement checks from the Port of Morgan City for the federal share of a fiscal year 2009 Port Security Grant Program award. The port served as the fiduciary agent for the grant, meaning that it acted as the financial conduit between the federal government and local sub-grantees, said Mike Knobloch of Knobloch Professional Services LLC, which is in charge of special projects for the Port of Morgan City.
The police and fire departments recently bought night vision goggles and handheld thermal imaging devices with the grant money they received. The police department bought two thermal imaging devices and five sets of night vision goggles. The fire department bought four sets of night vision goggles and two thermal imaging devices.
The more than $560,000 grant award, which was divided among five organizations, including the port, was a cooperative agreement with the federal government, Knobloch said. The grantees were required to match the federal grant money with a 25 percent local match, or about $184,000 collectively, he said. Besides the Port of Morgan City, the sub-grantees included the Morgan City police and fire departments, the Berwick Police Department and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The grant checks the departments received reimbursed them for 75 percent of the cost of their purchases, Knobloch said. The Morgan City police and fire department’s projects totaled $30,000 each, so they were each reimbursed for 75 percent of the costs, or about $22,500 each, he said.
Morgan City Fire Chief Morris Price said a couple of his firefighters recently used the night vision goggles to help find a missing boater. The thermal imaging devices can help firefighters locate people in the midst of a fire even if a person is behind an object, something that the night vision goggles cannot do, Price said.
The commission also approved a resolution to support the St. Mary Levee District’s effort to install a 250-foot wide opening of the closure structure on Bayou Chene, which would narrow the opening from the 400-foot opening currently there, said Jerry Gauthier, port commission president.
“What this would do, is help us, in the event of a flood event like we had to fight recently, it would make it much easier to hold that water back from coming up the (Bayou) Chene and flooding this community,” Gauthier said.
In other business, the commission:
—Accepted the 2011-2012 audit results from Darnall, Sikes, Gardes and Frederick.
—Accepted the financial reports for December 2012.
—Accepted the minutes from the Dec.10 meeting.