JDPJ agrees to seek grant for Lacassine Bayou

JENNINGS — The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury agreed Wednesday to seek a federal grant to help with drainage improvements along Lacassine Bayou in the Welsh area.

The Police Jury also took steps to move the Beaufort Street bridge replacement project forward.

Officials say fallen trees, plant life and other debris have clogged the bayou, causing it to flood during heavy rains.

“As far as I know it has never been cleaned,” Police Jury President Donald Woods said. “They went in a few years ago and pulled up some old posts, but it’s never been cleaned.”

Welsh Mayor Carolyn Louviere said cleaning out the bayou will mean better water flow and drainage and may alleviate flood problems. Cleaning the waterway will also help reopen it for fishing and kayaking, she said.

“Now you can only go about a mile to Abell Road,” she said.

Police Juror Butch Lafargue said that at one time boaters could go farther.

The Police Jury, the town of Welsh and the gravity drainage districts along Lacassine Bayou will work together to apply for the grant and will share the cost of the project.

Welsh town engineer Byron Racca of Meyers and Associates is working to submit a proposal as part of the first phase of the grant process.

In other matters, the Police Jury authorized the secretary to send letters to the town of Welsh and Welsh Gravity Drainage District 1 to seek their participation in the Beaufort Street bridge replacement project.

“The bridge is in bad shape,” Louviere said. “It is open, but has a load limit which really affects the town because school buses cannot cross it. It means a lot to residents living in the area.”