Board of Selectmen discuss online payments for utilities

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
The City of Plaquemine Board of selectmen presented a proclamation to 2013 evangeline Queen Deanna Kaycee Keller and had St. John student Elizabeth Bueche serve as mayor for the meeting. From left, Jimmie Randle Jr., Mickey Rivet, Timmy Martinez, Mark “Tony” Gulotta, Bueche, Keller, Oscar Mellion and Lin Rivet. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

PLAQUEMINE – The City of Plaquemine Board of Selectmen discussed plans to incorporate online payments for utilities at its regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 6.

"This will be the way people will pay their bills in the future," Mayor Mark "Tony" Gulotta said. "We plan on doing a massive media campaign to advertise it but our No. 1 goal is to have customer service representatives trained to the fullest capabilities. We have started the process but are not in that big a rush to implement it."

The board also approved a resolution to accept a bid for construction of power lines to its new sewer plant under conditions of Department of Environmental Quality approval.

"This is the last of the electrical projects needed to go to bid," PEC's Tony Arikol said.

Arikol said the project will cost $764,424.80 and is within the allotted budget. The estimated cost for the entire power project was $1.6 million but Arikol said it is $200,000 under budget.

In other news, it was reported that a new generator substation is 35 percent complete and is ahead of schedule.

Gulotta said a railroad crossing for access to the new wastewater treatment plant is expected by the end of the year and the site is cleared and draining well.

"We want to be waiting on the equipment," Gulotta said. "Not the equipment waiting on us."

The board also voted to apply for a government assistance grant. In the past, an air conditioner was purchased for the City of Plaqumine Activity Center gymnasium and the deadline to apply was Dec. 15.

Gulotta hopes to use the proposed grant sought in the amount of $50,000 to replace the roofing at City Hall along with new lighting and repainting of the courtroom.

"This ceiling is going to fall one day," Gulotta said. "I just hope people are not in here when it does."

Finally, the board discussed the possibility of moving the International Acadian Festival to the grounds of the Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park.

"There are some concerns it may fold and I think it could greatly enhance the festival because of the location," Gulotta said.

Selectman Lin Rivet noted the impact the festival would have on residents.

"I just want to make sure we don't cause any hardships," Rivet said.