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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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NLLD projects underway

NLLD projects underway

Voters will decide May 2 on whether the District will get additional revenue

The North Lafourche Levee District has three projects currently underway to provide the central Lafourche area with greater flood protection.

In February, construction began on the Lockport Company Canal South Bank Levee Lift Project that involves raising 2,600 feet of levee to a 7-foot-plus elevation.

According to the Daily Comet, Parish Public Works Director Don Edwards said, “Typically, the elevations are lower in Lockport than other areas so it’s important for that reason.”

Various enhancements, such as removing trees, adding a temporary silt fence and patching pavement, are included in the project.

The project is about halfway finished, and according to Edwards, “is on track.”

The project is being paid for with $1.25 million in federal Community Development Block Grand money awarded to the parish as part of the Hurricane Gustav/Ike Recovery Program.

In the Mathews area, crews are working on a roughly $1.4 million project to improve the Fantastic pump station down Fantastic Acres along LA 1.

Two 36-inch pumps were recently installed and turned on. A third 48-inch pump is set to be put in, Edwards said.

Behind the pump, parish crews have been reinforcing the levee that has had multiple failures.

Edwards said the project involves temporary fixes on the levee’s dry side from the Twin Oaks pump station in Raceland to the Fantastic pump station.

The plan is to continue improving the levee all the way to Larose, he said.

Whether the district will get the extra revenue it needs to do all the projects it would like to in a timely manner will depend on the voters who will decide whether to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the May 2 ballot.

The tax is expected to raise about $2.2 million a year for the district, which includes more that 250 levees and drainage canals and 40 pump stations from Thibodaux to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Larose.

According to Levee District Executive Director Dwayne Bourgeois, the roughly $3.5 million the district collects now through property taxes does not allow it to adequately address flood protection needs in a timely or sensible manner.

The sales tax revenue, if approved, would also be leveraged to attract more state and federal money and would allow the district to expedite completion of levee and drainage projects more quickly than with current funding alone.

Only voters within the district will cast ballots on the tax proposal.