NEW IBERIA — The Iberia Parish Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday that brings spending on its Phase 1 2010 road project to nearly $6 million.
The resolution adds $391,423 to the current $5.6 million price tag on repairs of 36 roads.
Council member Maggie Daniels said there always seems to be added costs to road projects. These added costs or change orders stop work on other roads that need repairs, she said. “It’s like we’re wasting money,” Daniels said.
Council member Naray Hulin said that change orders are going to happen, and that they are part of road repair costs. He said he didn’t know if there was any way to fix it.
Council member Troy Comeaux asked if the repair process can be changed. He said the parish could pay for each road while it is repaired and only proceed to the next one if there is money available instead of performing work on numerous roads at a time.
Member Bernard Broussard said that a number of steps can be taken to avoid more spending. First, he recommended that in the future additional costs be factored into the budget. He said, for example, that if the parish budget has $10 million available for road repairs that the council should only budget $8 million for the actual repairs and $2 million for any cost overruns.
Second, Broussard recommended the council keep a closer eye on the costs of each project. He suggested they ask engineers to attend the monthly public works committee meeting and report on road repair status.
No action was taken other than passing the resolution.
OXYGEN TANK DATABASE: The council unanimously resolved to establish a database to track where oxygen tanks for home health suppliers are delivered.
Iberia Parish Fire District Number 1 Chief Guy Bonin told the council that there have been oxygen tank explosions in the parish that have prompted his department to start a project to locate which homes have them.
Bonin said the first step will be to obtain a grant to buy decals that identify explosives within a dwelling.
The next step would be to enter the addresses into a database that could be accessed by the parish’s 911 call center.
Bonin said the database would only contain addresses and not home owners’ names .