Slidell seal

Two weeks after approving a multimillion-dollar drainage project in the Bayou Vincent area in west Slidell, the Slidell City Council followed on Tuesday by greenlighting a similar project in Olde Towne that will utilize nearly $15 million of recently acquired FEMA money.

The council voted 8-0 to authorize major drainage infrastructure repairs in the Bayou Patassat Drainage Basin. The work, which will include improvement of multiple roads, drains and sewers, is expected to begin in March, City Engineer Blaine Clancy said.

BLD Services Inc. of Kenner, the same company that won the bid on the Bayou Vincent area work, submitted the low bid of $14,944,785 to land the Bayou Patassat job.

The project is expected to take two years to complete.

“This is the biggest of all the drainage projects the city has planned,” Clancy said.

Bayou Patassat cuts an east-west swath through the heart of Olde Towne Slidell — an area that has flooded numerous times during recent major weather events. The drainage improvement project is one of at least six the city is planning. Each will be funded with the tens of millions of dollars FEMA awarded the city last year.

"The Bayou Patassat Basin covers a large area of my district — Olde Towne, Lincoln Park and parts of Park Place," said District A Councilman Glynn Pichon. "$15 million in infrastructure repairs is difficult to wrap your mind around, but most residents will ultimately see resurfaced roads, news concrete panels and sidewalks, improved drainage and improved water and sewer systems."

Pichon said the two-year improvement project is likely to cause some disruption to his constituents' normal activity, but he believes it will be "minimal."

"I'm confident residents of Slidell will be extremely pleased with the outcome," he said. 

Also on its consent calendar, the council authorized an application for a loan of $20 million through the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The money would be used to finance improvements to the city’s wastewater systems through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program. The loan would be repaid over a period of 20 years with a 0.95 percent interest rate.

On its regular agenda, the council annexed a 3.84-acre parcel of land located on U.S. 190 (Gause Boulevard West) from Parish Highway Commercial 2 to City C-4 Highway Commercial.

Owners Dr. and Mrs. Ronald C. Francis sought the annexation, and their representative noted that a Tractor Supply Co. outlet is slated to be built on the land. Tractor Supply Co. is a rural lifestyle supply store with more than 1,600 locations nationwide.

The city also rezoned a 3.2-acre property located on the southwest corner of U.S. 190 (Gause West) and Carnation Street from A-6 Single Family Residential to C-2 Neighborhood Commercial.

Both ordinances passed 8-0. District B Councilman Sam Abney was absent.

Early in the meeting, the city recognized Salmen High’s Saad Chaudhary and Northshore High’s Alexis Horton for their work with the Youth Ambassador Program — a personal development course for young leaders that is endorsed by both Mayor Freddy Drennan and the City Council.

The Ladder and Youth Ambassador programs are open to students ages 15-17 and focus on improving public-speaking skills while helping mold the teens into city representatives at local and statewide events.