ST. FRANCISVILLE — The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved a contract with Eric Parnell to serve as the town’s new building inspector.
Parnell, who owns ArchBoutant LLC, which specializes in building environments, code consultation and legal investigation, previously worked for seven years as an architect with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office as an inspector. He received his architecture degree from Louisiana Tech in 1996 and his MBA from LSU-Shreveport in 1997.
“We’re lucky to get somebody with his credentials,” Mayor Billy D’Aquilla told the board.
Parnell has started working with the town on new forms and new processes for inspections. He said he will work part time and plans to be available all day on Tuesdays or as needed for inspections with 48 hours’ notice.
Also on Tuesday, the board introduced two ordinances, one dealing with “false fire alarms” that have increased from an average of two to four per month to 20 so far this year, primarily at commercial establishments. The proposed ordinance would provide for a verbal warning and a written warning for the first two false alarms and then fines for each subsequent false alarm.
The board also introduced an ordinance that would abandon a small town-owned piece of land in Dippel Subdivision to the adjacent homeowners.
Bianca Hillhouse, of Professional Engineering Consultants, updated the board on two ongoing projects. She said D’Aquilla has written a letter to Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne seeking $500,000 for the replacement water well, known as Well No. 4, located off Prosperity Street. The town has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Louisiana Office of Community Development. Hillhouse estimates the replacement well will cost nearly $800,000.
Hillhouse also received permission to solicit bids again for the Burnett Road bridge replacement. She said the first round of bids came in at $300,000 more than was budgeted.
“We’ve investigated our options, and the best solution is to go out for bids again,” Hillhouse said. “The price has more than doubled what we originally thought.”