Culvert program hot topic for police jurors

June 4, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt

When it comes to drainage, what your neighbor does can seriously effect the flow of water at your property. That's why, for many years, parish officials have had a big interest in how roadside pipe is set next to private property. Wendell Armer is with the Calcasieu Police Jury Public Works Department.  "Too small a diameter pipe and the water backs up and the drainage is not like it should be."

At one time,  the parish would set pipe for people, until a state attorney general opinion concluded that should not be allowed. Now the parish requires a permit and at least one inspection. Explains Armer, "When we issue a permit we determine the elevation, pipe size and the pipe diameter that is going to be needed for that job. It ensures that there is proper drainage in subdivisions and outlying areas."

Some Calcasieu Police Jurors are upset about the $100 cost of the permit. Juror Sandy Treme voiced concern at Thursday's committee meeting."I really don't agree with the $100."  Yet, Dana Guidry with Calcasieu Planning & Development defends the permit fee. "That $100 goes to the administrative cost to be able to run the program itself, the permit and the extra personnel to take care of the basic operating costs."

Another issue is how quickly inspections are made. Says Guidry, "There's so much development going on. We issued 500 new residence permits last year. It's overwhelming even to the staff."

And still others simply want more public understanding of the program. Jurors are expected to take up these issues in their regular meeting this week. The police jury meets at 5:30 p.m. at the Calcasieu Parish Government Building.  For more information on the culvert issue click here.