Kim Christy: Is Council’s new-found urgency on drainage SMOKE and MIRRORS?

The Strategic Planning Committee was tasked with evaluating the effects of an ordinance proposing a six month moratorium on fill in the flood plain.  Strategic Planning did not pass the ordinance.  However, they exhibited a sense of urgency in having engineering firm HNTB present again what was presented in May 2018 to the EA Drainage […]

Committee delays Fill Ordinance another month; nixes moratorium without vote

Offering a scaled-down version of the presentation she had given on May 7, 2018, Melissa Kennedy of HNTB engineers told Ascension Council’s Strategic Planning Committee it would take “about $2 million (and) 18 months” to figure out all the parish’s drainage complexities.  On Monday she appeared for a “Discussion of Limit of Floodplain Management Fill” […]

20 months/845 lots later and STILL no action on Drainage Impact Studies

When Councilman Oliver Joseph gavels tonight’s Strategic Planning Committee meeting to order it will begin his tenure as the committee’s chairman.  It will have been 20 months since the committee took up ineffectual Drainage Impact Studies required of every new subdivision development without any action whatever being taken by the Parish Council.  A mere nine […]

Parish Engineer appears at Special Meeting in Sorrento

When it comes to drainage/flooding issues the Town of Sorrento finds itself at the mercy of Ascension Parish…except for Tuesday night when Mayor Mike Lambert called a Special Meeting to discuss Flood Damage Prevention.  For a few years President Kenny Matassa has ignored invitations from Sorrento’s Council desperate to resolve any number of drainage-related issues.  […]

$4.2 Million New River Drainage Improvement approved by EA Drainage

Two years ago H. Davis Cole engineers presented four options to replace the weir in New River with control structures ranging in price from $1.9 to $3.2 million.  A fanciful two-tiered, $20 million drainage system was interjected into the equation (by former Drainage Director Bill Roux), finger pointing at Gonzales’ residents for being freeloaders (Roux […]

Another wise decision by Sorrento Council: Robert Debate appointed to serve

On Tuesday (February 5) Robert Debate was appointed to fill the vacancy on Sorrento’s council created by Randi Sutton’s departure.  As the town continues to grapple with drainage/flooding issues Debate was the best possible choice the governing authority could  have made. Debate’s encyclopedic knowledge of Sorrento’s history (especially when it comes to drainage), if utilized, will be an […]

Floodplain Management plan transferred from EA Drainage to Strategic Planning

“To me that’s very irresponsible,” Councilman Aaron Lawler opined about delaying council action on a Floodplain Management Plan presented in June 2018.  HNTB engineers offered up the product at a meeting of East Ascension Drainage Board eight months ago but that body’s chairman removed it from that agenda and a series of others.  On Thursday […]

Different Philosophies: Personnel interviews Planning Commission applicants

Four applicants for three Planning/Zoning Commission seats interviewed with the Ascension Council Personnel Committee on Tuesday; three of them currently serving. The terms of Chairman Matthew Pryor, Commissioners Wade Schexnaydre and Ken Firmin, expire on Friday (February 8) with Personnel’s recommendations scheduled to be taken up by the full Council on Thursday.  Declared candidate for […]

82 residential units proposed in Gonzales, Commission demands more information

Ross Berthelot, two months after the parish Planning Commission denied his 105-lot subdivision proposed at the intersection of Cannon/Roddy, took his smug half-a-mile north on Irma Blvd to Gonzales City Hall on Monday.  His company, Berthelot Holdings, is proposing “42 single family residential lots…on Pecan Grove Avenue,” 200′ from the elementary school of the same […]

Memo to new Council Chair: Two parish department heads serving illegally

John Adams once defined republic as “a government of laws, and not of men.”  Ascension’s president and parish council seem unaware of the concept built into the constitutions, both Louisiana’s and the nation’s founding document.  Oh, to be sure, the council has no problem enacting legislation; but adherence to/enforcement of inconvenient laws is simply ignored. […]