Like much of Calcasieu Parish, the last several months of 2020 were a blur of recovery and rebuilding after the summer hurricanes for Westlake.
“We had close to 30 (municipal) sites that were damaged,” Mayor Bob Hardey said Tuesday. “City Hall took the worst of it.”
The east and back sides of the building had to be rebuilt due to the collapse of a 30 foot section of wall on the east side, which served a drive-thru, drop off location for utility payments. Those are now being handled in the lobby of City Hall, with most of the other departments sharing space in Council Chambers.
Hardey said it will take about three more months before there will be a drive-thru again. There is a drop box located in the parking lot on the west side of the building.
Also underway are repairs to the clubhouse at The National Golf Club, which was under construction when Hurricane Laura did more than $385,000 worth of damage to the facility. Hardey said all the light fixtures for the building were being stored in a C-Can, which flipped end over end, destroying the contents. The clubhouse is now projected to be finished by late April or early May.
The Westlake Senior Center will need a new roof, but the project is slated for later because seniors are unable to gather at the facility due to COVID-19 restrictions. The post office repairs are near completion, with brickwork on the facade remaining. The facility is in operation. Hardey said about 30 of the City’s sites need fencing and new roofs.
Debris pickup will soon come to an end.
Hardey said that any debris that had been placed by the road by January 5, will be picked up. “After that, if you put something at the road it’s on you,” he said. Sections of the city will be declared clean via Facebook or the or their website at www.cityofwestlake.com.
The Mayor also cautioned commercial property owners on Hwy. 378 about “double-dipping.” He said there are some who have accepted FEMA reimbursement for debris pickup and that FEMA regulations prohibit the City from picking up debris at those locations. Flyers will be sent to all commercial properties on Hwy. 378 about that.
As of Tuesday, a total of 301,000 cubic yards of debris – 5,000 loads – have been picked up, with about 4,000 cubic yards remaining. Hardey said debris removal will have to end and the landfill will eventually be closed.
The City is waiting to find out if the federal government will reimburse $6 million in debris removal costs at 100 percent for either 30 or 45 days. They are currently 100 days into the removal contract.