Four weeks until Inauguration Day, Parish President-Elect Clint Cointment spent the past five days digging into the Construction, Operating and Cooperative Endeavor Agreement proposed by Ascension Sewer, LLC five months ago. The document was amended by Ascension Sewer on multiple occasions pursuant to discussions at multiple Parish Council and Utilities Committee meetings, what passed for negotiation by unnamed council members and the parish’s Infrastructure Division Director. Beginning Monday, the president-elect and a rotating group current and future council members, joined by professional support personnel, took over.
The first day of meetings included representatives of Bernhard Capital Partners, the money behind Ascension Sewer, and multiple concessions agreed upon. The rest of the week involved only parish personnel, culminating with Friday when the Cointment-led working group finalized proposed revisions to the Agreement. The draft counteroffer was sent to Ascension Sewer for approval.
In a brief prepared statement Cointment said:
“Through countless hours and sleepless nights, the Parish of Ascension has sent to the representatives of Ascension Sewer a contract that captures a true partnership. We are eagerly awaiting a response of cooperation so that we might move forward to a successful partnership and sanitary sewer treatment for the parish.”
A reply is expected early next week, anticipating a Special Meeting of the Parish Council on December 16 to approve/reject the agreement. While the current council and President Kenny Matassa will do what they like, Cointment and six new council members will have to live with the agreement in January. Several items will remain to be implemented by the next council, deemed “Conditions Precedent” in the latest mutually agreed upon version.
The next parish president’s support is contingent on certain of the latest revisions being accepted though Cointment withheld specific comment “until we receive Ascension Sewer’s answer.”