According to Town Attorney Matthew Percy, Sorrento will be afforded the opportunity to negotiate with Ascension Parish in an effort to have the town’s roadside drainage ditches cleaned/cleared and maybe properly graded. Percy presented the news at Tuesday’s meeting of the Town Council, a day after East Ascension Drainage Board took up the issue in Executive Session for a second time in two months.
“They’re waiting on us,” Percy told the Council. “What they’re willing to do? We’ll see.”
The Board is comprised of ten east bank Parish Council members. Any work authorized by the Board would be performed by Ascension Parish pursuant to a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement executed every year (except a brief period during former president Ronnie Hughes’ term in office). The Board, according to Percy, has indicated it may be amenable to providing manpower, equipment, or (maybe) both.
Is this the culmination of rancorous, if one-sided, deliberations for the better part of a year. With Sorrento’s Councilman Donald Schexnaydre leading the charge, the town threatened legal action to force EA Drainage to perform the work…
Recent ditch-cleaning by the Parish stopped at Sorrento’s town limits. Which did not sit at all well with town council members.
“We just want to be treated equally,” Councilman Schexnaydre cited ongoing drainage maintenance provided to the City of Donaldsonville by West Ascension Drainage District. “Our citizens pay the same property and sales tax that every other resident of East Ascension pays.”
Residents of unincorporated East Ascension do not appear all that happy with EA Drainage either, though a $2.25 million contract with a private company to improve roadside ditches seems to be working well.
Sorrento’s engineer, Jarret Bauer of All South Consulting Engineers, recommended identification of the Board’s general maintenance plan for the town; noting that none exists for the rest of East Ascension.