[StBernard] Another St. Bernard Folly - The Katrina Permit

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Aug 23 21:49:40 EDT 2006


Unfortunately, you have some misinformation about this process- the council
did not do away with the building permit. The parish has never required a
building permit for cosmetic purposes- so the building permit that is being
developed is in response to the obstacles that have been encountered through
the FEMA process.

The electrical permit and the time limitation has been in place and the 6
month issue is a FEMA connected time frame. There was never a program to
eliminate electrical permits, only the resident fees for the electrical
permit. The shortage of electricians was why the council passed a
resolution to allow any state licensed electrician to work in St. Bernard.

The mistake that was made was the damage assessment process used- there is
an alternative process that could have been used that would have been much
more effective. This was a decision made in the community development

Hope this helps clear up the information.

Good luck and God Bless,

-----Original Message-----
All the surrounding parishes have been issuing "Building Permits" to the
residents. St, Bernard chose to eliminate this requirement for "cosmetic
work, ie sheetrock, new windows, doors etc.".

The council has never stated the REAL reason that this was done. We all
thought that this was a really great thing that our council did for us at
the end of 05 not knowing what the true ramifications would be later. I'm
sure at the time this was a ploy to reduce paperwork in the permit
department but as usual it appears that it was a hasty decision and not
thought through as many decisions have been that have directly affected the

Now the residents are paying electricians to file permits that will probably
require extensions to be filed due to the 6 month limitation. Not to mention
that there is no way that these individual electricians could possibly
perform the work for all of the permits that they are filing.

I know for a fact that the majority of electrical contractors have such a
back log that they can't get to their regular customers. They too are having
trouble finding enough help to do all of the work coming through their
companies. A lot of these electricians that have been filing jobs for our
residents hold down a 40 hour a week job for these same electrical
contractors requiring them to work a 40 hour week or more.

Why didn't the parish just reinstate the building permit for the "cosmetic
work" which would eliminate all of this last minute chaos. I'm sure that a
resident would rather pay a reasonble fee for a building permit than to pay
for a electrical permit that probably won't be used soon.

Our Parish President has his selected appointed high paying jobs but not
enough worker bees to handle tasks that are required to keep things working

When I tell people that I'm going back to my home in the Parish they look at
me like I'm nuts. And this is from previous St. Bernard residents. It's
decisions like this permit issue that have discouraged others from having
the desire to rebuild.

J Dolese

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