Board of Selectmen approves bond for electrical system

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com

PLAQUEMINE – The City of Plaquemine's Board of Selectmen approved a $6 million bond for the city's new electrical system at its regularly scheduled meeting Oct. 8.

The $4 million substation upgrade includes a $900,000 transformer that replaces the city's current one, which has been in use for half a century.

"The transformer is in place and all the materials have been bought and delivered to the site," Mayor Mark A. "Tony" Gulotta said.

The transformer is expected to increase the city's electrical output from 69,000 volts to 115,000 volts.

Gulotta said the city is actually only borrowing $5 million and will pay off older bonds with what is left over to acquire a better interest rate.

"It is actually a little ahead of schedule," Gulotta said.

He expects the new transformer to be operational by December or January ahead of spring plans.

An agreement with the contractor was signed last week to complete installation and hook up the transformer.

In other news, the board adopted new floodplain maps that meet or exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program regulations. Maps become effective Nov. 6.

"There are really no major changes," Gulotta said. "Plaquemine is really high and there is no actual floodplain in the city."

The board also authorized the advertisement of bids for its sewer plant power line project.

"Everything has been cleared and the material is actually starting to come in," Gulotta said. "We think we will select a contractor in November."

Also, the board selected Chad Fonseca as its new building inspector. Fonseca, a veteran of the Plaquemine Police Department as a detective for nearly a decade, replaces Brandon Mellion who took another job, according to Gulotta.

The board also tabled the condemnation of two buildings located at 23954 Taylor St. and 23930 Harmason St. owned by Rev. Dave Louis Williams and Joseph and Vivian J. Burks, respectively.

"The owners of the properties didn't pick up their letters," Gulotta said. "We have to figure out a way to serve them first."

Selectmen also acknowledged that there were no bids received for the demolition of the property located at 23460 Wilbert St.

Finally, an update was given on the Westside Visitation Center with Charlene Bishop.

"They have a grant for supervised visitation," Gulotta said.