Parish Council to take up big money matters Tuesday; Hospital repair funds included on agenda

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

The Iberville Parish Council will consider adopting the parish's 2010 operating and capital outlay budgets, and will consider the projects that will be funded with $48 million in hurricane recovery money when it meets Tuesday at the Courthouse.

A public hearing on the budgets is set for 6 p.m.

The council will take up a resolution authorizing the parish president to sign and submit the Iberville Parish Gustav/Ike Disaster Recovery Program Proposal Form to the state for approval under the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program.

The parish's six municipalities have submitted project proposals, and the doctors' group that owns River West Medical Center is seeking $4.25 million to repair damages to the facility left by Hurricane Gustav.

Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. has said he would give the hospital priority over parish drainage projects his administration proposed.

Robert E. Galloway, the consultant for Westside Physicians LLC,

said Ourso and attorney F. Barry Marionneaux joined him and Westside representatives at a meeting last week with the Iberville Chamber of Commerce's Economic Development Committee.

“We were so fortunate they were there so they could support what we were saying,” Galloway said in a telephone interview Monday. “...President Ourso remains a huge supporter of the application, which we are pleased about.”

“Hopefully, the other municipalities will see the benefits to the parish, even though some of them aren't very close to Plaquemine,” the consultant said of the hospital's proposal. “It will benefit the area at large.”

Galloway said the Westside Physicians group currently is working on plans and interim financing for opening an urgent care center at River West.

The hospital was shut down completely last spring.