The funds from 80 percent of the BP fines were made possible with the recent signing of the Restore Act by President Barack Obama, according to State Sen. Bret Allain, R-Jeanerette, who spoke with the St. Mary Parish Council Wednesday during its regular meeting.
Allain said the state’s share will be funneled through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
He added that St. Mary Levee District President Bill Hidalgo has just been confirmed as the newest member of that authority by Gov. Jindal.
“Bill’s going to be on there as our representative to try and get as much of those funds directed toward St. Mary Parish Levee and a permanent (flood protection) structure in Bayou Chene,” Allain said.
He said he has been assured by CPRA Chair Garret Graves that $1.8 million will be available for design of the Chene project. That the project has been added to CPRA’s master plan, assures it will be funded. He noted that Hidalgo oversaw the placement of the temporary structure by the levee district in the Chene last year during the flood threat that protected Morgan City, Amelia Stephensville and parts of Terrebonne Parish.
“I can’t tell you how huge this is,” Allain said of Hidalgo’s appointment. “There’s going to be billions of dollars to the state, right to that committee, to do coastal restoration, and I can’t think of a better guy to represent you than Bill Hidalgo.”
In other business Wednesday the council:
—Agreed to allocate up to $2,500 to publish the Registrar of Voter’s publication of voter purge rolls in the official journal.
—Heard from President Paul Naquin that bids on the Franklin Canal flood control structure will be let on Aug. 7 and construction should start soon after the bids are opened in early September.
—Approved various recommendations by the Planning and Zoning Commission that included zoning map amendments at 1167 La. 83, Franklin for the location of a recreational vehicle park and mobile home park by Wayne Caesar; and at 222 Southwest Road, Bayou Vista, to rezone from general commercial to mixed residential for the construction of two duplexes by Brian Roy. The required ordinances for the proposed amendments also were introduced.
—Adopted an ordinance on temporary workspace and road access agreement with Texas Gas Transmission LLC in the Patterson area.
—Passed resolutions on the Emergency Shelter Grant program through June 30, 2014; endorsing St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier’s candidacy for third vice president on the Executive Board of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana; and a certificate of substantial completion on the final phase of the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport apron rehab project.
—Approved a $2,000 allocation to Recreation District 3 for St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Pony League Baseball from the gaming fund.