10 companies netted $480M worth of Baton Rouge contracts last year

    Ten companies hauled in roughly 57% of the $840 million the Baton Rouge city-parish government spent on goods and services contracts last year, according to a Daily Report analysis.

    Eight of those companies contracted with the city-parish to update Baton Rouge’s sanitary sewer overflow program, which has been in the midst of a massive overhaul for the past 10 years. The city-parish routinely pays out hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to settle sewer overflow backup claims with private residents.

    In all, the 10 companies that made the most money contracting with the city-parish in 2016 received approximately $480 million from 46 contracts. Half of the 10 companies are from Louisiana. Allen & Leblanc, Grady Crawford Construction Co. and JB James Construction are headquartered in Baton Rouge, while Cecil D. Gassiott is an Alexandria-based general contractor specializing in federal and state projects and DRC Emergency Services is based in New Orleans.

    Others on the list include Texas-based Layne Heavy Civil and Mississippi-based Hemphill Construction Co., both of which performed work on the city-parish’s sewer system. CH2M Hill, a global engineering firm with offices in Baton Rouge, is headquartered in Colorado, and contractor Wharton Smith is based in Florida. Phoenix-based Republic Services, a waste management company, is also on the list.

    The city-parish spent a hefty sum last year to remove debris from the August flood. DRC Emergency Services was paid more than $35 million for debris removal after May storms and the August flood. An annual garbage contract with Republic Services totalled $20 million.

    It is not clear whether new Mayor Sharon Broome will change any of the government’s spending practices. Last week, Broome said she would “open up the doors” so all residents can get city-parish contracts. She previously told Daily Report she would begin initiatives to give residents information on how to successfully navigate the contracting process with local government.

    The city-parish data excludes some contracts under $5,000. Read a Business Report feature on the top 10 firms that landed contracts with the city-parish in 2015.

    —Sam Karlin

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