With the start of 2021 St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper reflected on his first year in office and spotlighted key accomplishments amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and a record-breaking hurricane season.
The St. Tammany Emergency Operations Center was activated fully, partially, and virtually, five separate times for storm events during the 2020 Hurricane Season. The Department of Public Works provided 182,155 sandbags throughout 2020 in advance of the rising Pearl River, the 500-plus year flood in May, and six named storms during Hurricane Season. In addition, Public Works crews picked up 5,492.2 cubic yards of storm debris.
The Department of Engineering completed $8.3 million in roads and drainage projects throughout St. Tammany.
The much needed widening and overlay of I-12 in west St Tammany, Phases One and Two, began in 2020.
The Tammany Trace Extension onto Camp Salmen Nature Park in Slidell was completed and opened for use. Its completion and opening facilitated daily hours for Camp Salmen Nature Park.
The Safe Haven campus saw the completion of the renovation of the Safe Haven Health and Wellness Center, and the installation of artwork procured from local artists.
In late August, the FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate Mitigation System installation was completed in the Fox Hollow subdivision in the Slidell area.
The St. Tammany Department of Animal Services began a partnership with Wings of Rescue in early 2020. This group transports shelter animals to parts of the country who have little or no access to adoptable animals.
The Department of Development began the process of updating the St. Tammany Parish Comprehensive Plan. The Plan Update — New Directions 2040 — is currently underway.
Cooper said he was proud to have served in a leadership role during 2020. He added his first year in office was nothing like he envisioned coming in, but it presented opportunities for the community to show strength, unity, compassion, and tenacity.