ALBANY – A recently enacted amendment could delay the rebuilding of the town hall and police department, Mayor Gene Glasscock said Monday.
Glasscock said he would meet Wednesday with members from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at the Livingston Parish Governmental Building to resolve a potential snag that stems from wage disputes between the town and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Amendments approved to the Davis Bacon Act in 2017 require local government agencies to pay salaries and wages the federal government mandates for rebuilds.
The town based its specifications for the reconstruction of the town hall off prevailing salaries and wages in the area for the $1.1 million project funded by FEMA.
The stipulation came into play after completion of the project worksheet, which would leave the town responsible for the salaries and wages for construction, as mandated by federal guidelines.
“We just don’t have that kind of money,” Glasscock said. “We did not expect this to come into the picture.”
The wage issue would not derail the rebuild – a combination of the town hall and police department – but it would downscale some parts of the project.
“We may just have to settle for gravel instead of a concrete parking lot,” Glasscock said.
The town has operated from an abandoned health unit on La. 43 since early September of 2016. The town has rented the building for $580 per month plus insurance from Store Time Rental of Hammond.
The temporary facility measures at 4,200 square feet, but FEMA guidelines require that any rebuild must be exactly the size of the previous structure.
Final drawings are in the works for the construction of a new town hall and police station to replace the facilities destroyed during the August 2016 flood.