Calcasieu Parish Drainage Committee hears final drainage district consolidation recommendations

Drainage decisions

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - In Calcasieu Parish, there are a handful of drainage districts, but there’s currently an effort to reduce that number down to two.

The Calcasieu Parish staff made their final recommendations to the drainage committee Tuesday night, hoping these recommendations would be implemented Jun. 24.

With a goal of streamlining drainage districts, those recommendations including:

  • Reducing the current number of seven districts down to two
  • Decreasing the number of board members from 35 to 14 — seven districts per district.

Alberto Galan, assistant to the administrator, said the consolidation will make for a better workflow.

“Providing the districts the flexbility and authority to manage watersheds instead of managing these legal boundaries that water does not recognize, is a part of a better drainage management system," Galan said.

Phase two of the plan would set new millage rates for each of the two new districts — going with the lowest rate currently used on each side of the river. Some in attendance were concerned these recommendations should be put before the public to be voted on.

“Two bigger districts is different from smaller districts and making big governments. It ain’t hard, and it ain’t free. You’re not going to get more for less. Smaller districts are going to lose their control and the larger districts are going to get less and, in the end, pay more," Ricky Blackwell, a man concerned about the recommendations, said.

However, the police jury’s attorney, Sam Gabb, said that’s something they cannot do.

“There is no provision in either the constitution or the state statute that allows this police jury to put anything related to special services district on a ballot. It cannot be done," Gabb said.

The police jury is set to take final action on these recommendations at their regular meeting Mar. 21.

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