Drainage issues unresolved, Gonzales commission approves 198 lots at Conway subdivision

Village at Conway

Gonzales’ Planning Commission unanimously approved two subdivision preliminary plats Monday, signing off on 198 lots in the Conway Subdivision development in the city’s southernmost bounds along Hwy 44.   Village at Conway, adjacent to Hwy 941 to the south, saw 90 more lots approved subject to several conditions imposed to ensure persistent drainage issues are addressed prior to Final Plat approval and ultimate construction.

Reserve at Conway

The same goes for the 108 lots receiving preliminary plat approval in Reserve at Conway, to the north and abutting Interstate 10.  The city relies on Ascension Parish’s Engineering Review Agent, Shaun Sherrow of CSRS, in keeping with the longstanding methodology whereby East Ascension Drainage District is responsible for all Major Drainage on the east bank of the Mississippi River.

Sherrow signed off on “the pump station concept for the existing filings,” deeming the idea “a workable solution.”  In an email sent Monday morning he wrote:

“I recommend that the terms of construction, operation, and maintenance of the pump station gets negotiated and agreed on between the HOA/developer/EADW/City of Gonzales prior to any more clearing or placement of fill in the new filings.  (Sometimes, a developer will clear and fill while plans are getting worked on.)

The Engineering Review Agent went on to write:

  • A revised drainage study that includes the final pump design for phase 1 is prepared during the new filings construction plan approval process; and
  • The new filing calls for discharging new ponds into Brittany Tower Road ditch.  A detailed HEC-RAS on this ditch and a couple of backwater scenarios are needed as a part of the pond design.  We will work with Ron to discuss some of the what-if scenarios based on his knowledge of what he sees in the area.

“Ron” is Ron Savoy, Director of Ascension Parish Department of Public Works (which includes Drainage, for the time being anyway).

Commission strips Cointment of drainage duties, ignoring public outcry

On June 28 a 6-4 vote of EA Drainage District stripped, or purported to, Parish President Clint Cointment and his administration of authority over drainage operations.  An opportunistic power grab, barely reasoned, the ultimate outcome of that decision remains to be seen.

Jeff Vallee, of Covington, represented Conway Development at Monday’s sparsely attended meeting.  Two couples residing in the existing development, one recently transplanted from New Orleans, were on hand to question the development’s plans to address those drainage issues.