Police Jury Briefs: May 11, 2016

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FEMA program may provide big help for flood victims

An FEMA program designed to assist Bossier Parish flood stricken individuals whose property is on a repetitive or severe repetitive loss list could help those who are eligible with up to 100 percent recovery of their loss.

Bossier Parish Engineer Butch Ford said his staff began Tuesday signing up those who may apply for assistance through the Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program.
Ford told members of the parish police jury Wednesday he first learned of the program from a contact in the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).

“We have a team together getting all the information we need,” Ford said. “We have appraisers on the ground appraising property, surveyors are out getting elevations. FEMA puts up $200 million for this each year.”

Ford told jury members roughly 30 percent of the FEMA $200 comes to Louisiana each year for flood victims. The parish is hoping to qualify 25 affected homeowners in the parish.

Under the program, individuals with severe repetitive loss can receive up to 100 percent and those with repetitive loss could get as much as 90 percent, Ford said. If the applications are approved in September, the money could be received as early as February.

“We’re going to work diligently to get this information so we can apply,” Ford said. “So far we have everyone signed up except one and that’s coming. And if they’re not eligible for this, we’re signing them up for the Hazard Mitigation Grant.”

Ford said he doesn’t know how much money the parish will receive but his staff is signing up individuals so all necessary documents will be ready. Staff members will also be working over the weekend to expedite applications, he added.

In his administrator’s report, Bill Altimus said the parish is “…in another flood fight…” and reported that the National Weather Service is predicting rain patterns will continue.

“The National Weather Service says about every seven days we’ll see another wave of rain,” Altimus said. “They’re saying this will continue through mid-June, so this isn’t an in-and-out thing. We’re in this for the long haul, unfortunately.”

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, parish police jury members:
-Authorized advertising for bids for the official journal of the jury.
-Scheduled public hearings to consider approval of a plat for the proposed development of Hernandez Haven subdivision, to consider minor plat approval for the Permenter property, to consider the alphabetical split of parish voting precinct 02-21C and to consider relocation of voting precinct 03-01 in Plain Dealing from the Cartwright Memorial Health Unit to the Plain Dealing community center on South Cotton Belt St.
-Adopted a proclamation recognizing Marlaina Free and volunteers of the Lake Bistineau Flood Command Center “for their superior voluntary disaster relief support to the citizens of Bossier Parish and the Lake Bistineau community” during the March flooding.
-Approved a beer license for GX Louisiana, LLC, at Airline Exxon.
-Adopted a resolution supporting Halliburton Energy Services so the company can receive local benefits of the Enterprise Zone.
-Adopted a six-month moratorium on issuing building permits in Piney Forest subdivision.
-Approved an agreement between GOHSEP and Bossier Parish for funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for Willow Chute drainage improvements.
-Approved an agreement with Aillet, Fenner, Jolly & McClelland, Inc. for engineering services for the East-West roadway from Swan Lake Rd. to Winfield Rd.