High water in the spring never invaded the town, and hurricanes never breached the Gulf Coast. Renwick Subdivision has only two lots left to sell, and numerous construction projects are drawing to a close or are complete. Cameron has begun its expansion into Berwick’s town limits.
Phase I of the Cameron project, designed by architect Carl Blum of Morgan City and Miller Engineering of Franklin, calls for employee parking, roadways, site utilities and large equipment storage on the 42-acre site. Work on this phase is slated for completion by early April, according to Blum.
This is the first of a multi-phase project at the flagship complex of Cameron. The forthcoming work at the Berwick facility is in the planning and design phases.
M. Matt Durand in St. Martinville is in charge of site preparation, while the paving and building construction is under the purview of Phylway Construction in Thibodaux.
This marks the first expansion into Berwick territory for the company. The remainder of the facility is outside of the city limits in Bayou Vista. In three to five year, according to Berwick Mayor Louis Ratcliff, there will be more buildings on the expanded property for an expansion of the company’s manufacturing in the area.
In the Renwick Subdivision work, Phase IV — consisting of 16 lots — was completed in May. The first lot was sold in June, and all remaining lots were sold before the end of the year. Currently, there are only two lots available for sale in the subdivision. Both are in the Phase I area of the subdivision.
During the year, 18 new homes were built, which were valued at a combined $4.21 million.
Ratcliff said plans are in the works for Phase V. It will consist of an estimated 35 lots, but it will likely be the middle to end of 2012 before engineering is complete.
In other news, numerous capital projects were completed during the year in the town or are nearing completion.
—Hilton Rebardi sub-fire station on River Road, which was finished in the middle of the year. The land was a donation from an oil company, while the money to build the station came from town money totaling about $50,000 allocated over several years.
—Walking trail extension from Pattie Drive to Renwick Boulevard along Fairview Drive at a cost of $53,897 in state grants.
—Parish replacement of a small bridge and renovation of Berwick South Road. The $1.66 million project is being funded through Coastal Impact Assistance program monies St. Mary Parish has received. Work is being conducted on the roadway, one lane at a time. While this is a St. Mary Parish project, it is ongoing in the town’s limits and affects its residents. Lemoine Co. of Lafayette is the project’s contractor.
—Continued replacement of water and gas meters throughout the town with automated meters, which is about 40 percent complete. The four-year project was undertaken to provide more accurate results and quicker completion of tasks for employees.
—Ongoing sewer rehabilitation in the older section of town, which has been conducted for the last six years. The state grant that funds it pays for slip lining the old pipes that date to the 1950s. This allows replacement without tearing up roadways and inconveniencing citizens, Ratcliff said.
—Overlay of California and Utah streets at a cost of about $100,000 by the state, which was a bit of a surprise. The town recently was informed that the state had excess road money and could use it to overlay roads accessing U.S. 90. These two are considered to do just that. Work there is expected to wrap up before the end of the year.
—Dock renovation between Crappell’s Fish Market and the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe railroad bridge on the Atchafalaya River. This was completed with a $50,000 grant from the Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District. The replaced dock allows vessels to tie up on the Berwick side of the river. Work was completed in April.
The town has been notified it will receive an additional state grant to renovate the old Basin Marine dock and the Oregon Street Boat Landing dock. With this work, the dock will be complete along the entire riverfront. Also, the boat landing dock, damaged in a hurricane and demolished by the high water in May, will be repaired.
As to the high water, Ratcliff noted: “We were very thankful about how it ended up. We were pleased with the cooperation of all the communities working together. We were able to put aside all our problems and work together for the betterment of the community.”
Looking toward the future, the mayor said the town has been notified of a grant award from the state for additional sidewalks in the area of the cemetery and park in Old Berwick. The idea, he said, is to get kids off the streets when they're walking toward the park or other places in the area. The grant totals $65,000.
Also coming in the future is a cemetery expansion.
The town has acquired property next to the current graveyard and anticipates creating another 100-space mausoleum.
While the property along St. Clair Alley has been cleared of trash trees, the mayor calls this “a long-range project” and anticipates starting construction in 2013.