St. Mary Levee District adopts inventory

By JAMES A. ROBICHAUX

At its monthly meeting Thursday, the St. Mary Levee District adopted a capital assets policy after an auditor’s recent findings.

The new policy, drafted by SMLD attorney Gerard Bourgeois, requires the district to regularly catalog inventory and keep track of assets.

Later, district President Bill Hidalgo and executive director Hilary Thibodeaux had an exchange on the matter of the Bayou Chene Flood Control Structure and how the SMLD was required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to engage in mitigation, the process of rebuilding land when the environment will be altered.

“Here we are saving people from flooding, and we’ve got to have $57,000 of mitigation expenses. How does it make sense? It does not make sense,” Hidalgo said.

“Another thing, I think that we need to get our conversations and thoughts attuned to that being called the Bayou Teche Flood and Diversion Project. It is doing similar to what LCA 6 would have done,” Hidalgo said, referring to a section of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 regarding flood control in the Louisiana coastal area.

“So, we want to call this a diversion project as well, where during times of high water, it takes silt-laden water and puts it across the marsh in Terrebonne Parish,” Hidalgo said.

Later, Thibodeaux updated the board on the application process for a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

“We are in a competitive process to receive $1.8 million. They have been asking for additional information, which we have been providing feverishly to move forward,” Thibodeaux said.

The EDA requests an “environmental narrative,” to understand some of the impact associated with the project.

State Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, was in attendance at the meeting. He said that he was “just coming to be enlightened, and offer any help that I can.”

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