Drainage district asks PC support for millage renewal
Passage of an upcoming millage renewal was urged before the St. Mary Parish Council during its regular meeting Wednesday.
Dutch Vandenaardweg of the Wax Lake East Drainage District asked the council for support of the Oct. 19 election in which voters will be asked to renew the district’s 3.2 mill property tax for operation and maintenance.
The district covers the areas of Berwick, Bayou Vista and Patterson.
“I’m hoping that the citizens of the area that we serve will renew the millage that keeps us operational,” Vandenaardweg said. “If you live between the Berwick seawall and the Wax Lake Outlet, you live in a bowl. It’s an island surrounded by the Wax Lake Outlet, the Intracoastal Canal, the Atchafalaya River and Six Mile Lake.”
Fortunately, he added, the bowl is surrounded by a levee.
When the locks on the Bayou Teche at the lower Atchafalaya River are closed, “every single drop of water that falls between Berwick and the Calumet Cut we pump out,” Vandenaardweg said.
When the locks are open there is little impact, he said, and most water is directed through Patterson to the district’s pump system south of the railroad tracks.
He encouraged all district residents to vote yes on the 19th to renew the millage that funds the district’s operation and maintenance budget.
“Without that budget and without this equipment that we maintain it will be pretty serious,” he said.
In other business the council:
—Tabled a proposed ordinance requiring parish appointed boards and commissions to submit notice of meetings, agendas and minutes to the council. Councilman Tim Tregle of Morgan City said the ordinance will be reintroduced later after being redrafted by legal counsel.
—Introduced an ordinance granting a specific use permit to Sterling Sugars for placement of a four-lot RV park in an agricultural zone at 108 Sterling Quarters Lane outside of Franklin.
—Passed resolutions setting new solid waste disposal fees for parish municipalities; endorsing participation in the Enterprise Zone Program by Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations; authorizing an agreement with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on phase 1 of the pump stations elevation project; authorizing a plan change and/or special agreement on facility improvements at the West End Solid Waste Pickup Station; authorizing contracts with the lowest bidder on the cleaning, waterproofing and associated work on the courthouse; and authorizing a cooperative agreement with the City of Franklin on the housing of pretrial prisoners. A resolution awarding a contract to the lowest bidder, on parishwide sewer lift station upgrades was pulled since no bids were received.
—Referred to finance committee a $30,000 funding request from St. Mary Chapter Louisiana Landmarks Society for exterior repairs and painting of Grevemberg House Museum in Franklin.
—Approved requests from Councilman Lionel “Butch” Metz for transfer of $4,000 from the Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 10 three-tenths sales tax fund to the Town of Baldwin for Pee Wee Football; and Councilman David Hanagriff for $25,000 from the Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 10 three-tenths sales tax fund to the City of Franklin for improvements at Caffery Park.
—Appointed Dean DeMers to the Planning and Zoning Commission; Tabitha M. Hopkins to Recreation District 7, and reappointed Willie Edwards and Al Kuhlman to the Atchafalaya Golf Course Commission.