PLAQUEMINE — Because the bids opened Tuesday for the new Iberville Parish Ochsner Health Clinic were all higher than expected, the Parish Council delayed for at least two weeks awarding the project until further details can be worked out.
The lowest bidder was Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge at $19,680,000, more than the $19,262,000 the parish planned to spend on the clinic that will be operated by Ochsner Health System and built south of Plaquemine.
“Lincoln Builders were within a couple hundred thousand dollars of where we needed to be,” parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. said.
Thomas C. David Jr., of Pan American Engineers, and Jerry Hebert, of Grace & Hebert Architects, told the council they want to meet with Lincoln and Ochsner officials in the next two weeks to see whether the difference between the bid and the parish’s expected price can be brought closer together.
The council tabled any action on the matter for at least two weeks.
“We just want to make sure the numbers are right,” Matthew H. Jewell, council president, said after the meeting.
When completed, the 43,000-square-foot clinic will include a free-standing emergency department; 24 patient exam/procedures rooms including two trauma rooms; and it will be large enough to house seven health care providers, including three primary care physicians, lab services, radiology, X-ray, cat scan, MRI, ultrasound and mammography.
In other council business Tuesday:
ORDINANCE APPROVED: The council approved a 13-page ordinance to establish a program that outlines how and when the parish can sell property it gains over tax issues. The parish owns nearly 100 properties due to tax issues, Songy said.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BUDGET:The council approved an ordinance to amend the 2013 Capital Improvement Budget in the amount of $800,000 to replace lobby windows and make HVAC repairs and improvements to the courthouse.
BOAT LAUNCH:The Council approved a resolution authorizing the parish to expropriate about an acre of land for a boat launch near the Alligator Bayou Floodgate in case an agreement to purchase it cannot be worked out with the landowner. Without access, the parish cannot clear the gate to alleviate flooding in the eastern portion of the parish, including St. Gabriel.