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STPG and Partners Offer Another Tool in Fighting Opioid Epidemic

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St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced today that St. Tammany Parish Government, in collaboration with St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston, has secured 1980 kits containing two 4mg doses of the opioid antagonist NARCAN for cost-free pick up by citizens at fire stations throughout St. Tammany, and at Florida Parishes Human Services Authority offices.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith; St. Tammany Parish Fire District #1 Chief Chris Kaufmann; Florida Parishes Human Services Executive Director Richard Kramer; and Dan Schneider, Advocate and subject of the Netflix Documentary The Pharmacist, joined President Cooper and Coroner Preston to make the announcement this morning with the St. Tammany Parish 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery and 22nd Judicial Specialty Court Judges ——– standing in support of this collaborative initiative. This distribution — the first phase of a two-phase initiative in the fight against the ongoing Opioid Epidemic— was made possible through a competitive grant — the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program — from the Bureau of Justice Administration.

“The Opioid Epidemic is real and it is crippling to the families who face it every single day. We are committed to our fight against this dreaded addiction. The Louisiana Department of Health reports that in 2019, St. Tammany Parish had the second highest number of Opioid-involved deaths in the State of Louisiana,” President Cooper said. “While NARCAN is not a solution to addiction, it does offer citizens a second chance to save their loved one’s life, to start them on the path to recovery through treatment. We are proud to facilitate this program and grateful to all involved stakeholders who will make this life-saving effort a reality.”

“There are often times when our deputies arrive on a scene, prior to EMS. When someone is overdosing and time is of the essence, this tool (NARCAN) gives our deputies the ability to immediately render aid and potentially save lives,” said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith. “NARCAN will not prevent a person from using drugs in the future, but it gives them a fighting chance to have a future where they can make better decisions and ultimately get the help they need to fight their addiction.”

“NARCAN can transform a tragic death into the chance for a new life,” said Dr. Charles Preston, St. Tammany Parish Coroner.

“NARCAN may give you a chance at life, but a recovery program can save your life,” said Chief Chris Kaufmann, St. Tammany Fire District #1. “Together we can make a difference.”

“We commend President Cooper for taking this step to help protect the lives of people in our community and are thankful that he has asked us to be a partner in this initiative,” said Richard Kramer, Executive Director, Florida Parishes Human Services.

“Treat every overdose person as if it was your child. NARCAN can give them a chance at recovery and a future,” said The Pharmacist, Dan Schneider.

Beginning Thursday, April 29, 2021, citizens may visit fire stations throughout St. Tammany Parish to pick up kits containing two 4mg doses of NARCAN with administration instructions. The doses have a three-year shelf life. The kits are free and no questions are asked. Citizens will be asked to sign a waiver indicating they received instructions on how to administer the life-saving drug. Officials stress that people who administer NARCAN to an overdose victim should immediately seek medical attention for them through 9-1-1. The Good Samaritan Law protects individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose, even if they too are involved in illegal drug use at the time of the life-saving call to first responders.

The second phase of this initiative will focus on recovery and treatment resources. The total expenditure for grant fulfillment during Phase I for the outreach and packaging materials as well as the NARCAN purchase was $169,500. Plans for Phase II will be announced in the coming months. The distribution of NARCAN will continue until all kits are depleted.

For a map of pickup locations, please visit www.stpgov.org/NARCAN

Local News Parish News

St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) Underway

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The St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) which will utilize $7.7 million in CARES Act funding from the Department of Treasury, is fully underway. This program is available to assist households that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Tammany Parish Government has opened two locations, one on Koop Drive in Mandeville, and one in Slidell at the Towers building, for in-person applications. Officials are asking that applicants make an appointment to be served, by calling (985) 898-3016 or by emailing STRAP@stpgov.org.

“Our offices are up and running, and I am urging citizens who need this assistance to schedule an appointment and apply,” President Cooper said. “We know that many in our community are in need and we are here to ensure these funds are made available to those who need them as quickly as possible.”

St. Tammany Parish Government is slated to receive an additional round of funding in the near future. That date and amount have not yet been announced.

Rental assistance provided to an eligible household must not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such household. The St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) is now accepting applications for the following households:

Households with an income at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) which is approximately $56,300 for a family of four;
Households that have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and
Households that are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

Support documentation will be required prior to issuance of payments. Additional information on this program can be found at: www.stpgov.org/departments/grants. Applicants who have questions, or who plan to apply, should email their contact information, including mailing address to: STRAP@stpgov.org.

Local News Parish News

STPG Update: Latest Forecast Indicates Higher River Levels Than Originally Predicted

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St. Tammany Parish Officials were notified by forecasters at the National Weather Service this afternoon that the Bogue Falaya River, near Camp Covington is expected to reach 58 feet by midnight tonight, Thursday, April 15, 2021. Flood stage is 45 feet. The River is currently at 54.95 feet. Parish officials continue to monitor the expected severe weather threats. St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper is asking residents, especially those who live near the Bogue Falaya River at Camp Covington, to please continue to monitor the current and severe weather threat and be ready to evacuate if necessary.

Self-serve sandbags will be available Thursday April 15, 2021 through 9 p.m. at the Covington Public Works Barn, located at 1305 N. Florida Street, Covington. Residents should bring their own shovel, in case the ones provided are in use. Someone will be on-hand to assist those who need it.

Forecasters are predicting continued severe weather and excessive rainfall into Friday and early Saturday. There is also the potential for wind gusts to 60mph and the possibility of hail. An additional one to three inches of rain is forecast across parts of St Tammany Parish. Due to significant past rainfall, flash flooding will be a concern through Saturday morning. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through noon on Saturday. Heavy and intense rainfall may lead to water covered roadways. Rivers will continue to rise and possible flooding may happen.

All road updates are posted at www.stpgov.org/storm. Residents are asked to report flooded structures to 985-898-2574. Camp Salmen Nature Park, located at 35122 Parish Parkway Slidell, is closed due to high water. Storm information is posted at www.stpgov.org/storm, and on Parish Social Media channels.

Local News Parish News

STPG Announces Rental Assistance Program

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The St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) which will utilize $7.7 million in CARES Act funding from the Department of Treasury, is fully underway. This program is available to assist households that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Tammany Parish Government has opened two locations, one on Koop Drive in Mandeville, and one in Slidell at the Towers building, for in-person applications. Officials are asking that applicants make an appointment to be served, by calling (985) 898-3016 or by emailing STRAP@stpgov.org.

“Our offices are up and running, and I am urging citizens who need this assistance to schedule an appointment and apply,” President Cooper said. “We know that many in our community are in need and we are here to ensure these funds are made available to those who need them as quickly as possible.”

St. Tammany Parish Government is slated to receive an additional round of funding in the near future. That date and amount have not yet been announced.

Rental assistance provided to an eligible household must not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such household. The St. Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP) is now accepting applications for the following households:

Households with an income at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) which is approximately $56,300 for a family of four;
Households that have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and
Households that are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

Support documentation will be required prior to issuance of payments. Additional information on this program can be found at: www.stpgov.org/departments/grants. Applicants who have questions, or who plan to apply, should email their contact information, including mailing address to: STRAP@stpgov.org.

Parish News

Parish President Mike Cooper Reflects on the One-Year Anniversary of COVID-19 Impacting St. Tammany

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From St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper:

“One year ago, St. Tammany, like much of the rest of the world, was faced with the reality of COVID-19. We came together as community and faced the uncertainty of a novel virus, loss of lives to this disease, and sacrifices we all had to make in order to protect the most vulnerable among us, as well as our frontline healthcare professionals. We did this to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy,” said Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President.

President Cooper went on to say, “I am thankful and proud of the way we worked together and I am proud of where we now stand. Let’s continue to move forward by making individual choices to protect one another, and by utilizing the vaccine to protect ourselves as we mourn the lives of those we lost to this disease, celebrate those who have recovered, and thank the people who lovingly cared for them all.”

Watch the March 13, 2020 Press Conference

Parish News

St. Tammany Parish Government Buildings Will Open to the Public Under New Phase III Guidelines

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced that St. Tammany Parish Government buildings will officially reopen to the public Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at 8 a.m. All visitors will undergo COVID-19 screenings and will be required to wear a mask when inside Parish buildings, in addition to while visiting Parish-owned playgrounds like the Kids Konnection and the playground at Camp Salmen Nature Park, in keeping with the mask mandate.

“We are ready to welcome citizens back to our buildings. We ask that everyone be prepared to undergo screenings, and please wear a mask,” President Cooper said. “We want to build on our forward momentum and for that reason, we still need to take responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19, by continuing to take necessary precautions.”

Parish Government employees will resume on-campus work at full occupancy. Parish-run litter abatement crews utilizing staff working to fulfill Community Service obligations will continue but with increased capacity. The Department of Animal Services will welcome volunteers back to the Shelter.

While appointments are no longer required to complete Parish business, they are recommended.

Agencies located in the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center will operate as follows:

The 22nd Judicial Courts (applies to St. Tammany and Washington Parishes) – Everyone is required to wear a mask before entering the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center. Members of the public who are noticed with a scheduled in-person Court appearance or have an appointment with an agency located in the Courthouse will be admitted. No children will be allowed to enter the Courthouse except as pre-approved by the Judge of the division or the agency permitting them access to their office.

The St. Tammany Parish Assessor’s Office — Remains open to the Public by Appointment only. Citizens can visit STPAO.org, to make an appointment or they can call at (985) 809-8180

The complete Phase III Executive Order may be viewed here.

Parish News

St. Tammany Parish Government Saves Over $2 Million to Date Through New Approach to Projects

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stp news

From St. Tammany Parish Government:

stp news

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper has changed the way district infrastructure projects are initiated in St. Tammany through bundling district road projects in close proximity to save money. Four separate projects initiated in 2020 and implemented using the bundling approach produced a combined cost savings of $2,067,640.40. Because of this immense return and successful implementation, all district road packages will utilize this new model going forward.

“Saving money at the start of each project simply by using this new approach — grouping projects in the same area — means we have more money available to invest in the next project,” said Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President. “Our infrastructure investments are worth every dollar we spend. This is a new way to meet a fundamental need in a fiscally responsible way.” 

President Cooper worked closely with the St. Tammany Parish Council, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Engineering, and the Department of Procurement to implement the new process.

Parish News

Parish Urges Electricity Conservation During Winter Weather Event

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

Please see an important message about electricity usage during this Winter weather.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has declared a Maximum Generation Emergency Event due to forced generation outages and below normal temperatures. The entire State of Louisiana and every electric utility company’s consumers are being asked to curtail electricity usage to relieve the demand.

Due to MISO’s notice, our supplier Cleco Cajun (LaGen) is requesting WSTE to appeal to our members to reduce usage.

All members must reduce their usage from 5:00pm -10:00pm (peak hours) in an effort to prevent a forced rolling outage tonight.

This is an advanced notice!!  If the grid becomes dangerously overloaded and at risk the next step will be an immediate power outage from one or more substations. The directive of areas affected does not come from WSTE but our supplier. 

IF we can not achieve the critical reductions necessary in this emergency, a forced outage would be the next step. We will not be able to tell you where until we are informed. Once the outage occurs it usually takes about an hour or two to slowly bring each area back up.

Please prepare now and help us prevent a forced outage. Below are steps you can take:

  • Lower your thermostat to at least 68 degrees or lower.
  • Delay household chores such as laundry and running the dishwasher.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances.
  • Close blinds and shades on windows.

Sign up now for ALERT St. Tammany, here. This is the Parish-wide emergency notification system for St. Tammany Parish Government. If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.

Local News Parish News

Brand-New Tammany Trace Signage Offers Enhanced Features for Patrons

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

stp news

Tammany Trace patrons can expect to see new, upgraded signage along the 28-mile Rails-to-Trails conversion within the coming weeks. The signage, made possible with support from the Northshore Homebuilders Charitable Trust, retains features from the previous version, while offering greater detail including: a larger, more thorough map with icons indicating points of interest and the amenities offered at each; the option to use a Quick Response, or QR code, to access the entire library of Tammany Trace Rules with your mobile device; and an updated mileage chart including the newly opened extension into Camp Salmen Nature Park. The original signs, also produced with the support of the Northshore Homebuilders Charitable Trust, were produced in 2009.

“The Tammany Trace is a unique and valued amenity here in St. Tammany. The upgrade of these maps gives patrons more tools to fully enjoy this beautiful outdoor treasure,” said Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President. “We encourage local patrons and visitors to utilize these maps to make the most of their time on the Tammany Trace.”

“Since 1995, the St. Tammany (now Northshore) Home Builders Charitable Trust has invested over $500,000 into our local charities,” said Amy Ybarzabal, Executive Director of the Northshore Home Builders Association. “This donation to the Tammany Trace is one way we fulfill our mission to support legislative, economic, and educational initiatives that promote and protect the American Dream of home ownership. The Trace enhances the quality of life on the Northshore.”

The Northshore Homebuilders Charitable Trust contributed just over $3,000.00 to the production of the signs. Tammany Trace crews expect to have all signage installed by the end of February 2021.

Watch the ceremonial installation here.

Art Event Parish News

‘Percent for Art’ Open House Showcases the Safe Haven Healing Arts Collection

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

from the Safe Haven website

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper welcomed members of the arts and health communities as they came together at the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Complex, Thursday, December 10, 2020. The event — the Percent for Art Open House — was an art opening for 31 Healing Arts collections procured through a Call to Artists earlier this year, as well as donations from local philanthropists.

“With the addition of this healing artwork, we move closer to the opening of the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Center. This collection is vital to the facility, as we want each and every person who joins us to begin their healing journey to do so with dignity and a sense of hope,” Cooper said. “In addition to adding a healing component to the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Center, this Call to Artists offered an opportunity to our arts community to find work during this uncertain time and to add to the success of Safe Haven.”

Cooper opened the event by thanking members of the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs, local philanthropists, arts advocates Carlos Sanchez and David Fennelly, and Safe Haven Director Mary Burckell for their investment in Safe Haven and their work to bring this collection to the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Center.

Over 40 artists with over 280 proposals responded to the Call to Artists in the summer of 2020, issued by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs and St. Tammany Parish Government. A five-member Art Advisory Panel selected the final collections for installation. Two additional pieces were donated by Carlos Sanchez and David Fennelly. Special thanks to the Advisory Panel members: Cindy Pulling, Administrative Director for NAMI St. Tammany; James Davis, St. Tammany Parish Councilman District 7; Laura Prisco, Chairwoman, St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs; Jennifer Bushnell, Commissioner, St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs; and Mary D. Burckell, Director of Safe Haven.

The artwork was funded through the Percent for Art Program at a cost of $24,400. This program stems from an ordinance passed in 2002 which authorizes the allocation of funds for art in the construction of public buildings. For this project selections were made specifically to enhance the healing environment of the facility. All artwork was installed in adherence to required guidelines for a Behavioral Health facility. You may view the Safe Haven Collection here.

Future projects slated for completion at the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Complex include: bedroom murals, an outdoor sculpture, exam room murals, and landscaping. See descriptions of each here. For information on involvement in pending projects at the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Complex, please contact Mary Burckell, Director of Safe Haven at : mburckell@stpgov.org.

The Safe Haven Health and Wellness Center houses St. Tammany’s first 24-bed Crisis Receiving Center, as well as a third Federally Qualified Health Center to serve the people of St. Tammany. It is expected to open in early 2021.

About Safe Haven

Safe Haven will provide a collaborative healing environment for the behavioral health continuum by creating a high-quality, coordinated, sustainable and humane network of care anchored in St. Tammany Parish. The facility will serve as a comprehensive multi- faceted program and a “single point of entry” into the Behavioral Health continuum of care for law enforcement, the judiciary and local area hospitals. To sign up for updates on the progress of Safe Haven visit www.safehavenstp.org.

Parish News

STP Comprehensive Plan ‘New Directions 2040’ Steering Committee Members Announced

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from St. Tammany Parish Government:

stp news

New Directions 2040 Steering Committee Members Announced as Initial Visioning Phase of Plan Update Continues

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper and the St. Tammany Parish Council Members announced their appointees for the 21-member Steering Committee of New Directions 2040. The steering committee members will consider the work products of the consultant team led by the firm of Asakura Robinson. Committee members will provide direction to the team for the updated goals, objectives, and tasks to promote resilient and sustainable development in the Parish.

“The update to our Comprehensive Plan will guide and shape our future. Choosing people from all areas of St. Tammany was of great importance to me,” Cooper said. “I want to thank all of my appointments for volunteering their time and agreeing to be a part of this process and this group, as they will join the other 14 members of the committee that were appointed by the Parish Council to provide guidance and expertise as we develop the plan.”

During the first phase of the public input visioning process, 154 people participated in meetings either in-person or via Zoom, 38 surveys were collected, and 72 ideas were submitted. Citizens can continue to complete surveys and submit ideas at the New Directions 2040 survey link here. More public meetings are slated for 2021.

The outcome of the Comprehensive Plan update process will achieve several objectives. It will provide a factual basis for land-use decision-making; educate and inform the public; resolve points of conflict; and reduce arbitrary decision-making through establishing plan perimeters. The entire process to finalize a draft of the plan for a public hearing, and final presentation of a draft for adoption to all Parish governing bodies, is expected to be complete in late 2021 to early 2022. To subscribe to project updates, please register to receive the project newsletter here .

The New Directions 2040 Steering Committee Members are listed below: 

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper appointees:

Rachael Catalanotto – Mandeville
Rachael is a partner in the law firm of Talley, Anthony, Hughes and Knight, LLC.
Donna McDonald – Slidell
Donna is the President of McDonald Construction LLC in Slidell.
Denis Bechac – Mandeville
Denis manages U.S. Business Development at Smartmatic and former Mayor Pro-Tempore for the City of Mandeville.
David L. Campbell – Folsom
David is a retired attorney who served on the New Directions 2025 Committee. He currently serves on the Advocacy Committee of the Pontchartrain Conservancy.
Bradley Cook – Covington
Bradley is an Advisor with Stirling Properties commercial real estate team in the Covington office.
Thomas Thompson – Eden Isles
Thomas is a Member of the East St. Tammany Storm Protection Committee.
Karen Ducre-Raymond – Lacombe
Karen is the President of the Bayou Lacombe Museum.

St. Tammany Parish Council Appointees:

Marty Dean, Councilman District 1 – TBA
David Fitzgerald, Councilman District 2 –S. Dale Jenkins
Martha Cazaubon, Councilwoman District 3 – A.J. Davis
Michael Lorino, Jr., Council Chairman District 4 – Chris Masingill
Rykert O. Toledano, Jr., Council Vice Chairman District 5 – Shelby LaSalle
Cheryl Tanner, Councilwoman District 6 – Chris Hnatyshyn
James J. Davis, Councilman District 7- Carlo Hernandez
Chris Canulette, Councilman District 8 – Dave Doherty
Mike M. Smith, Councilman District 9 – Gene Bellisario
Maureen “MO” O’Brien, Councilwoman District 10 – Richard Lambert
Steve Stefancik, Councilman District 11 – Ed Potivent
Jerry Binder, Councilman District 12 – Bob Beck
Jake A. Airey, Councilman District 13 – Jim Walter
Thomas J. “T.J.” Smith, Councilman District 14 – Lester Mayho

Local News Parish News

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper Announces Decision on 2021 Mardi Gras Parades

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced today that 2021 Mardi Gras Parades will not roll in St. Tammany. The decision was finalized early Thursday, after consultation with Dr. Charles Preston, St. Tammany Parish Coroner, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith, local fire districts, local police departments and a consensus of local mayors.

“This decision was made after much discussion and thoughtful deliberation. We have taken in to consideration the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and the fact that we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with numbers continuing to rise,” Cooper said. “We want to discourage any event that will draw large crowds and possibly endanger the health of our citizens or possibly put our first responders at risk. I want to thank every leader within our Parish who participated in this conversation. I will continue to do what is right to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy.”

Cooper hosted two conference calls with the above-mentioned parties on separate occasions to discuss the 2021 Mardi Gras season.

Parish News

‘Holiday of Lights’ Drive-Thru at Koop Drive Starts Dec 4

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from Louisiana Northshore:

from Louisiana Northshore

The annual Holiday of Lights in Mandeville returns for its 21st year on weekends beginning December 4, 2020. Typically featuring entertainment from local schools and area performance groups, a modified version of the 21st Annual Holiday of Lights will go forward this Christmas season as a drive-thru only event.

“We are all ready for something positive,” said St Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper. “What could be more positive than keeping this tradition alive even through COVID-19? While we know the experience will be slightly different, we will still have the experience, and that is the most important thing for us — to give our citizens the Holiday of Lights event in 2020.”

from stpgov.org

The Holiday of Lights display will be open on Koop Drive in Mandeville, as a drive-thru only sightseeing event, Fridays through Sundays from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in December, as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas night. Dates and drive-thru procedures will be announced closer to the kick-off of the event.

For more information, call the Tammany Trace Trailhead at (985) 867-9490.

www.stpgov.org

Local News Parish News

COVID Update – Statement from St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper (11/16/2020): “I want to wish every citizen of St. Tammany a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We know these holidays are going to be different due to COVID-19. Each one of us can play a part in helping to protect the most vulnerable among us through personal responsibility. We can do this with a few simple steps. Please keep COVID-19 protective measures in mind when planning your holiday.

“When you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, please continue to wear masks, physically distance, avoid large gatherings — especially gatherings with people you have not been in contact with recently. If you are out in the community wear a mask — especially when inside local businesses and restaurants. As I have said in the past, there are several ways to support our local restaurants and small businesses. Shopping with them is one and helping them to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask when you are inside their establishments is another.

“I continue to work to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy, and I ask each and every citizen to continue to work with me to achieve this balance. By protecting ourselves and one other, we can all contribute to our recovery. Please take personal responsibility as we enter into the holidays. Have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.”

www.stpgov.org

Increase in COVID Cases Seen Locally and Nationally – St. Tammany Health System

COVID UPDATE FOR NEIGHBORS from St. Tammany Parish Health System—11/16/2020

sths

All local residents should renew awareness and focus on containing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Today at St. Tammany Health System, 17 patients are in COVID care, an increase from 9 one week ago today. Our inpatient census is 131, and we have discharged 492 patients from COVID care since the pandemic began.

The nation surpassed 10 million cases last week and hit 11 million this week. Our local community is experiencing a spike as well with 8,931 cases to date in St. Tammany Parish according to Louisiana Department of Health. Halloween is believed to have sparked a significant increase in community spread, and Thanksgiving is seen as a potential next wave of exposure.

All residents are reminded as we head into winter, people spend more time indoors, increasing the risk of exposure to colds, flu and viruses, including COVID-19. STHS recommends everyone wear a mask, follow proper handwashing and cough etiquette and maintain your distance from others, particularly when you don’t feel well. It’s also important to protect yourself from the flu with a flu shot, which you can access through STHS Express Care and all STPN primary care clinics.

As part of our commitment to help you take excellent care of yourself, St. Tammany Health System has launched Health Check 365, including a special event at STHS Cordes Pavilion, 16300 Hwy 1085, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. For a single fee, participants receive a spectrum of health screenings including biometrics, carotid artery, sleep apnea, body composition plus screens for lung, skin, head and neck cancer. Appointments are necessary by calling 985-871-5932.

st. tammany health system
Art Event Parish News

14th Annual President’s Arts Awards Slated for November 19th – St. Tammany Parish Government

Published by:

stp news

From St. Tammany Parish Government:

stp news

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced last week that the 14th Annual President’s Arts Awards recipients will be honored at the President’s Arts Awards presented by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs, Thursday, November 19, 2020, at an outdoor ceremony at the Koop Drive Trailhead Pavilion. Attendance will be limited to recipients and their families as COVID-19 protective protocol will be in place.

“We are happy to be able to host this event at the Koop Drive Trailhead. I want to thank the Commission for their hard work and their attention to every detail in keeping safety in mind in planning this event, for the honorees,” Cooper said. “The arts are a vital part of our community. I look forward to celebrating my first Arts Awards as Parish President and recognizing the wealth of artistic talent here in St. Tammany. I offer sincere congratulations to every recipient.”

The honorees are as follows:

Visual Artist – Gretchen Armbruster
Literary Artist – Mike Artell
Culinary Artist – Abita Brewing Company
Performing Artist – Mel Rogers
Musical Artist – Lee Hicks
Patron of the Arts – Painting with a Twist
President’s Award (Posthumously) – Gardner Schneider Kole
Native Son Award – Lesslee Fitzmorris Mitchell
Lifetime Achievement – Patricia “Pat” Clanton
Outstanding Service Award – Kim Bergeron

Congratulations!

Local News Parish News

St. Tammany Parish Launches Public Involvement for New Directions 2040

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

stp news

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced the first round of public involvement opportunities for New Directions 2040 — the update to the Parish’s Comprehensive Plan. These events will introduce the initiative, explain the role of the Comprehensive Plan in decision-making on land use and infrastructure, and show how residents, businesses, and other stakeholders can participate. St. Tammany citizens will learn about upcoming opportunities to express their vision, values and priorities for the Parish over the next 20 years.

“As I stated when we kicked off this initiative, my goal is to hear the desires and concerns of citizens and business owners and work to achieve a vision that will guide our growth and shape our community. These information sessions are the start of developing this vision,” said President Cooper. “This is where the opportunity begins for every citizen to have a stake in authorship of the plan and in our future. I invite everyone to have a seat at the table and offer input.”

The combination of in-person “pop-up” events and virtual informational sessions will take place at the following locations and times:

  • Thursday, November 12 from 6-7 PM // Virtual Kickoff and Info Session – Registration required
  • Friday, November 13 from 2-6 PM  // Coquille Parks and Recreation, 13505 LA-1085, Covington
  • Saturday, November 14 from 10AM – 1PM // Camp Salmen Nature Park, 35122 Parish Pkwy, Slidell
  • Sunday, November 15 from 10 AM-3 PM // Madisonville Maker’s Market, Madisonville Ball Park & Playground, Pine Street, Madisonville
  • Monday, November 16 from 10 AM-1PM // Folsom Farmers Market, Giddy Up, 82292 LA-25, Folsom
  • Thursday, November 19 from 6-7 PM // Virtual Info Session #2 – Registration required

Today the Parish also launches the project website, where a visioning survey, ideas board, interactive map, and more information is available: www.newdirections2040.com.

All pop-up events will occur outdoors. Project team staff will follow Louisiana Department of Health guidelines with respect to wearing protective facial coverings.  Social distancing measures will be followed.

The planned outcome of the Comprehensive Plan update process will achieve several objectives. It will provide a factual basis for land-use decision-making; educate and inform the public; resolve points of conflict; and reduce arbitrary decision-making through establishing plan perimeters. The entire process to finalize a draft of the plan for a public hearing, and final presentation of a draft for adoption to all Parish governing bodies, is expected to be complete in late 2021 to early 2022.

To subscribe to project updates, please register to receive the project newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/heQOrv

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Emergency Operations Update: St. Tammany Parish Government Prepares for Hurricane Zeta

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From St. Tammany Parish Government www.stpgov.org:

St. Tammany Parish President, Mike Cooper, his administration and emergency operations personnel continue to monitor, and prepare for, any anticipated impacts of Hurricane Zeta as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Zeta will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that Hurricane Zeta could bring tropical storm force conditions to our area late Wednesday into Wednesday Night. The severity of the threats is dependent on the exact track and intensity.  The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is receiving continual updates from the National Hurricane Center, and coordinating with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as local partner agencies.

The St. Tammany Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is prepared to physically activate the Emergency Operations Center. The St. Tammany Parish Department of Public Works will open six self-serve sandbag locations beginning Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. All locations (with the exception of the Old Levee District Site) will have personnel on-hand to assist the elderly or infirmed. Citizens are asked to bring their own shovels, should the ones provided be in use.

Sandbag Locations

  • St. Tammany Parish Government- Building
  • 21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Airport Road Barn
  • 34783 Grantham College Rd, Slidell, La
  • The Old Levee District Site (those who need assistance, visit Fritchie Barn)
  • 61134 Military Road (Hwy 190) Slidell, La.
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Fritchie Barn
  • 63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Keller Barn
  • 63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Covington Barn
  • 1305 N. Florida Street, Covington

Emergency preparedness information will be available to citizens, contingent on the forecast, through our television station: STPG-TV —Channel 710 on Charter, Channel 99, AT&T U-VERSE, or livestream at www.stpgov.org/, through our storm page: www.stpgov.org/storm, through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and through the local media. Citizens can also subscribe to automatic email updates from the Parish by visiting www.stpgov.org.  

Citizens are reminded to enhance emergency preparedness plans to include masks, hand sanitizers and other items needed to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For more storm preparation tips visit www.ready.gov.

St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Update – October 27, 2020

St. Tammany Parish Government announced the following Emergency Operations updates at a news briefing earlier today.

  • Parish President Mike Cooper signed an Emergency Declaration in advance of Tropical Storm Zeta
  • Parish Officials continue to monitor Tropical and the potential impacts on St. Tammany Parish
  • The St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center will partially activate at 7 a.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020
  • Six Self-Serve Sandbag locations will be open from 7: 30 a.m. until 12 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday October 28th). There will be someone to assist the elderly and the disabled at each location, with the exception of the Old Levee District site.
  • Non-essential Parish Government Offices will close Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at noon. Essential personnel are expected to report as assigned. Animal Services will be closed to the public.
  • The October 28th Agenda Review and Special Council Meeting has been cancelled due to the approaching storm.

The following will close Wednesday, October 28, 2020:

  • Camp Salmen Nature park, located at 35122 Parish Pkwy, Slidell, LA 70460
  • The Tammany Trace
  • The St. Tammany Fishing Pier located at 54001 E Howze Beach Rd, Slidell, LA 70461
  • Kids Konnection Playground located at 21410 Koop Dr, Mandeville
  • Northshore Beach located at 267 Debbie Dr, Slidell, LA 70458
  • Bayou Lacombe Bridge. No Marine traffic.

Public works has contacted Debris and Monitoring contractors and they are on standby/monitoring potential impacts.

  • Public Works and Tammany Utilities personnel are on call, if needed, out of an abundance of caution.
  • STAR TRANSIT will run until 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020, and then once the storm has passed and road conditions are reassessed they will let us know when services will resume.
  • 22nd JDC, Clerk of Court, St. Tammany Assessor and District Attorney will be closed tomorrow.

Citizens can visit www.stpgov.org/storm for information.

Continuous updates will be posted at www.stpgov.org, on STPG-TV; Channel 710 Spectrum; Channel 99 AT &T U-Verse, as well as on Social Media.

Residents are asked to clear any debris from culverts and drainage pathways, and to monitor the weather forecasts in the coming days through your local media outlets. Prepare your enhanced plan to accommodate COVID-19 precautions.

Sign up now for ALERT St. Tammany, here. This is the Parish-wide emergency notification system for St. Tammany Parish Government. If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.

Local News Parish News

St. Tammany Parish Government in Preparedness Posture – Hurricane Delta

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Hurricane preparedness and sandbag locations from St. Tammany Parish Government

St. Tammany Parish President, Mike Cooper, his administration and emergency operations personnel continue to monitor, and prepare for, any anticipated impacts of Hurricane Delta as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Delta will enter the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday as a major hurricane and likely impact portions of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi at the end of the week. The National Hurricane Center is advising all residents along the northern Gulf Coast to closely monitor the forecast of Hurricane Delta. The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is receiving continual updates from the National Hurricane Center, and coordinating with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as local partner agencies.

“We have been through many storm threats this hurricane season, and I am again asking residents to prepare for Hurricane Delta and the possibility of a localized heavy rain event, damaging winds, and coastal flooding. We ask that you clear storm drains, follow your family plan for a storm event, and pay close attention to weather forecasts and Parish officials as the storm moves across the Gulf of Mexico,” said Mike Cooper, Parish President. “Also stay tuned to local news and local officials as we monitor this system and its potential impacts.”

All Emergency Operations liaisons are currently on stand-by. The St. Tammany Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is prepared to physically activate the Emergency Operations Center. Public Works personnel are pre-positioning high water signs in low-lying areas in the event tidal, wind and/or rain conditions make it necessary to close or post roads, in addition, crews are clearing debris from drainage ditches and lowering the levels of retention and detention ponds. Tammany Utilities is ensuring all equipment is operational and back-up systems are in place.

The St. Tammany Parish Department of Public Works will open six self-serve sandbag locations beginning Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 2 p.m. All locations (with the exception of the Old Levee District Site) will have personnel on-hand to assist the elderly or infirmed. All will remain open until 6 p.m. All locations will re-open Wednesday, October 7, 2020 and Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7 a.m. and remain open until 6 p.m.

Sandbag Locations

  • St. Tammany Parish Government- Building -21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Airport Road Barn- 34783 Grantham College Rd, Slidell, La
  • The Old Levee District Site (those who need assistance, visit Fritchie Barn)- 61134 Military Road (Hwy 190) Slidell, La.
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Fritchie Barn – 63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Keller Barn-63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Covington Barn- 1305 N. Florida Street, Covington

Emergency preparedness information will be available to citizens, contingent on the forecast, through our television station: STPG-TV —Channel 710 on Charter, Channel 99, AT&T U-VERSE, or livestream at www.stpgov.org/, through our storm page: www.stpgov.org/storm, through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and through the local media. Citizens can also subscribe to automatic email updates from the Parish by visiting www.stpgov.org.  

Citizens are reminded to enhance emergency preparedness plans to include masks, hand sanitizers and other items needed to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For more storm preparation tips visit www.ready.gov.

Local News Parish News

St. Tammany Parish Government Introduces Proposed 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets

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From St. Tammany Parish Government 10/2/2020:

On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the St. Tammany Parish Council introduced two ordinances for adoption of the proposed 2021 Parish Operating Budget, and the proposed 2021 Parish Capital Improvement Budget. President Cooper has outlined in his budget several key initiatives including: the streamlining of public services to increase efficiency, save money, and better serve St. Tammany citizens; the restoration of trust between Parish Government and citizens through increased transparency and access to public officials; the update of the current comprehensive plan — last updated in 1999; and the creation of partnerships with local and State leaders on issues that impact all citizens, including infrastructure and economic development.

Parish President Mike Cooper

“When I took the oath of office at the beginning of this year, I committed to providing a more streamlined and responsive government, to place sensible controls on unbridled development and avoid mistakes of the past, and to use our public monies wisely and efficiently on priorities which address our basic and most pressing needs,” said Cooper. “This year’s budget reflects the continued effort to improve the financial accountability of Parish Government and to meet the service demands of our citizens and the infrastructure needs of our Parish. Considering the economic uncertainties in our parish, our state, our nation, and our world, in the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, the proposed budget is conservative and fiscally prudent.”

The 2021 Budget, was prepared by St. Tammany Parish Chief Financial Officer, Leslie Long and staff under the direction of St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper. According to the October 1, 2020 St. Tammany Parish Council agenda, the Parish Council will hold a public hearing in Council Chambers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2020 to review the proposed Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets prior to adoption. The Parish’s paperless version of the proposed budgets is available for review online at the St. Tammany Parish Government website at this link.

Local News

St. Tammany Parish Government Monitors Tropical Depression Beta — Activates Sandbag Locations

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From St. Tammany Parish Government 9/22/2020:

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper and the St. Tammany Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) are closely monitoring Tropical Depression Beta, expected to move over Louisiana later this week. St. Tammany Parish is currently under a Coastal Flood Warning. According to forecasters, Tropical Depression Beta is slow-moving and the prolonged persistent onshore flow of tidal water will continue to produce above normal tides and coastal flooding.

“As we continue to see the onshore tidal flow, we ask citizens who live in low-lying areas to stay tuned to the weather forecast and to prepare for a prolonged event with periods of rainfall. We ask all citizens to please adhere to roadway signage and to refrain from unnecessarily driving through neighborhoods with water in the streets to prevent the movement of this water into homes,” Cooper said. “We are prepared and we ask residents in these impacted areas to stay vigilant. We ask everyone to drive with consideration for others in these impacted areas.”

Self-serve sandbag locations will open today, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 until 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 23, 2020 and Thursday, September 24, 2020, as required. All locations will have sand and bags provided. Residents are asked to bring their own shovels in case all shovels provided are in use. In addition, residents are asked to limit the number of sandbags to 15 per vehicle. There will be someone on-hand to assist the elderly and/or disabled at each location during the hours of 7 a.m. – 3: 30 p.m. at the following locations:

St. Tammany Parish Government- Building
21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville
 
St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Airport Road Barn
34783 Grantham College Rd, Slidell, La

The Old Levee District Site
61134 N Military Road (Hwy 190) Slidell, La.

St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Fritchie Barn
63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River


St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Keller Barn
63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe

St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Covington Barn
1305 N. Florida Street, Covington

Parish Government will announce any emergency preparedness information to the public, contingent on the forecast, through the local media, our website — www.stpgov.org/storm , and through social media on Facebook and Twitter. Citizens can also sign up to receive automatic email updates from the Parish by visiting www.stpgov.org.

Sign up now for ALERT St. Tammany, here. This is the Parish-wide emergency notification system for St. Tammany Parish Government. If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.