Levee district budget includes Bayou Chene work

Levee District Executive Director Tim Matte

Staff Report

The St. Mary Parish Levee District’s $4.6 million 2014 budget includes money for engineering work on the $80 million Bayou Chene Flood Control Project.
The levee district commission approved the district’s 2014 budget and the amended 2013 budget at a Dec. 19 special meeting.
The district expects to receive $600,000 from an Economic Development Administration grant dedicated to the design of the Bayou Chene Flood Control Structure, according to Levee District Executive Director Tim Matte’s budget message.
The Bayou Chene Flood Control Structure Project, which is located slightly south of the McDermott yard in Amelia, is estimated to cost $80 million and will include a permanent structure that will block Bayou Chene so that flood waters cannot come up Bayou Chene through Bayou Boeuf to Lake Palourde.
The district plans to take about $3.6 million in revenues with total expenditures estimated at about $4.6 million. The primary revenue source is ad valorem taxes. According to the proposed budget, the district plans to dip into its roughly $4 million fund balance to cover the $1 million deficit.
The deficit is primarily due to the design costs of the Bayou Chene project, according to Matte’s budget message. The projected ending fund balance for the 2014 budget is a “reasonable amount to carry considering the large backlog of potential projects” the district has planned for flood protection, according to the budget message.
Engineering costs for the Bayou Teche Project are also included in the 2014 budget. The Bayou Teche Project will put a gate at the Charenton Canal’s intersection with Bayou Teche to keep a storm surge from coming up the Charenton Canal and getting into Bayou Teche, which could then flood all the way to Franklin, Matte said at the October levee district meeting.
The budget also accounts for the estimated cost of bringing the Wax Lake East levees into compliance with FEMA requirements for certification.
The budget is expected to fund the shortfall from Franklin Canal Pump Station construction project, according to Matte.

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