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(Rick Hickman/American Press)

(Rick Hickman/American Press)

Police jury takes first step on managing drainage parishwide

Last Modified: Friday, August 01, 2014 11:35 AM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Calcasieu Parish police jurors took the first step Thursday in reviewing a nearly 10-year-old report on managing drainage parishwide.

Public Works Committee members approved a recommendation allowing parish staff to present a plan of study on updating the Drainage Management Report at the Police Jury’s Aug. 7 regular meeting. The report was submitted to the Police Jury in 2005.

Police Jury President Dennis Scott said the report should be updated to prepare for the anticipated growth once several announced industrial expansion projects get underway.

“That’s going to include looking at some ordinance issues that maybe we need to tighten up or change,” he said. “We have to look long term at how we are going to continue to provide that service (and) what it’ll look like in the future.”

State law requires the Police Jury to provide drainage, and the parish provides drainage services to seven drainage districts. He said the 2005 report had three main objectives, one of which calls for looking into providing drainage services.

“It’s a lot of operational and procedural deals that we want to be able to make sure that we don’t fall behind on,” he said.

The 2005 report also called for containing drainage within new subdivisions, something the parish is addressing, Scott said. “Now, if you build a new subdivision, you can’t just take your water and pour it into somebody else’s subdivision,” he said.

The report also called for comprehensive modeling of drainage laterals. Several years ago, he said the parish spent $3.7 million to model all laterals and make them accessible by computer.

Scott said officials and staff have spent two weeks meeting with property owners and drainage board members and superintendents on managing drainage.

“(With) all the discussion that went on, I feel we would be doing this parish a disservice if we didn’t at least investigate all of the issues that were brought up,” he said.

Session recap

The panel heard from state Rep. Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur, and Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur. The two spoke about what was accomplished during the recent legislative session and thanked local officials for their input on how certain legislation would affect the parish.

Local government and other entities “did very well” in terms of getting projects included in the capital outlay bill, Johns said. The legislation outlines spending plans for different construction projects statewide.

“We probably set a record here in Calcasieu Parish in terms of what is in the capital outlay bill,” he said.

However, the “big hurdle” is getting those projects funded by the state, Johns said.

“There’s going to be about $400 million of projects that are in the bill today that are not going to get funded this year,” Johns said. “Our delegation will be doing everything possible to get as much of that funded in this fiscal year.”

Next year’s session will be “fiscal-only,” meaning that any kind of a tax can be addressed, Johns said. Also, each lawmaker can file five regular bills and an unlimited number of local bills.

Scott asked Johns and Danahay about considering legislation that would hold private companies more accountable if they neglect or abandon their community sewer and water systems.

Speed limit

The panel also agreed to adopt an ordinance recommending the speed limit on Corbina Road be set at 55 mph. The full Police Jury will consider the ordinance Aug. 7.

Posted By: KB On: 8/1/2014

Title: Different Concept/Approach

Investigate how the Houston area and surrounding suburbs are required to have retention ponds. RETENTION PONDS would help tremendously.

Posted By: connie vige On: 8/1/2014

Title: drainage

What s joke. I've lived in my house for 37 years and flooded last month for the first time. They are not going to fix drainage on gauthier rd. Or hunters grove. We have asked for years for help. However if you want turning lanes they can put that in.

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