Addendum to the Existing Contract
This Addendum to the Existing Contract between the EAST ASCENSION CONSOLIDATED GRAVITY DRAINAGE DISTRICT NO. 1, (EACGDD) and ASCENSION PARISH (Parish President) outlines the mutually agreed upon principles and activities that will enable the Parish President as the duly elected official to exercise his powers to oversee the day-to-day operations and administration of the EACGDD for a period of one calendar year beginning on November 1, 2021 extending through October 31, 2022 contingent upon the effective execution of the activities as outlined in this Management Agreement.
A. OUR COMMON PURPOSE
This Management Agreement has been developed to represent and promote the common interests between the Parish President and the EACGDD. These interests include but are not limited to:
- Ensuring the highest level of professionalism and expertise in all aspects of drainage.
- Delivering effective water management projects and maintenance plans to prevent flooding, mitigate flood risk to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, and provide for excellence in:
- Public health and safety,
- Environmental protection,
- Sustainable development, and
- Health and safety.
As represented by this agreement, the Parish of Ascension and the EACGDD pledge to work together as a team of elected officials who will always place the best interests of the Parish and its citizens at the forefront of their deliberations.
B. OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARTIES
B.1. EACGDD does hereby grant unto the office of the Parish President, its heirs, successors, and assigns, the exclusive right to administer the maintenance of, operation of, repair of, and provision for drainage for the Parish of Ascension and any and all appurtenances pertaining thereto.
B.2. EACGDD does hereby grant unto the Parish, through the Parish President the complete right to use servitude rights including, but not limited to, the right to construct, maintain, inspect, operate, repair, alter, remove and relay the drainage system and ditches and canals using EACGDD equipment and appurtenances as may be necessary and convenient to such operations, together with all rights of ingress and egress to and from said drainage systems, ponds, ditches, canals etc. for the purposes for which EACGDD was created subject to the advice and consent of the EACGDD.
B.3. Parish President shall contract and work with a qualified subject matter consultant to create an organizational structure, delineate search criteria for a Drainage Director and perform a national search for a Drainage Director to be presented to EACGDD for ratification within 60 days of the execution of this document.
B.4. The Ascension Parish Council shall vote to establish the new position with a salary pay range of 135,000 to $210,000 per year or an amount commensurate with market comparable compensation and have a qualified subject matter consultant adjust the employee organization chart to reflect this new position
B.5. Working with the Parish President and EAGCDD, the qualified subject matter consultants hired by the Parish President shall delineate search criteria for the Drainage Director and perform a national search for a Drainage Director. Consultants shall assist in establishing a performance-based contract for the Drainage Director position. The Parish President, or his designee shall be invited to work collaboratively with the EAGCDD throughout the search process and selection of the Drainage Director. A professional review board will be created by the Parish President and EAGCDD, with each party having two appointments. This board will recommend the top 2-4 candidates as finalists for the Drainage Director position. The final selection will be approved by a supermajority of the EAGCDD Board.
B.6. EACGDD does hereby agree that the Drainage Director will be nominated for appointment by the Parish President to the Ascension Parish Governing Authority, and that once ratified, the Drainage Director shall be hired as a contract employee and report to the Parish President.
B.7 EACGDD agrees that the Drainage District staff will function as a Department of Parish government and that the Drainage Director of EACGDD and all employees thereof will comply with all policies and procedures of the Parish Government, in accordance with the Home Rule Charter.
B.8. The PARISH agrees that drainage personnel and equipment will only be used for drainage purposes unless a CEA exists that compensates EACGDD for market value cost of shared personnel and equipment.
B.9. EACGDD and Parish President agree to follow all Louisiana State statues regarding procedures for entering into any new or renewal contracts for Professional Services.
B.10. EACGDD further agrees that the Parish President has the exclusive right to administer the maintenance, operations, repair, and provision of drainage for the Parish. The Parish President shall have administrative authority, responsibility, and oversight of EACGDD personnel, assets, and activities for the duration of this agreement (one year) to ensure that the mutually agreed to goals, plans, and resolutions of EACGDD Board of Commissioners and the Parish are carried out except as limited by this contract.
B.11. The Parish President will submit a contract within 60 days of the signing of this contract to the EACGDD for approval to do a forensic accounting audit to determine the division of assets – equipment, building assets, and personnel between Ascension Parish Government and EACGDD. The separation of assets, based on the audit findings will be completed within 12 months. However, if this process can be performed by the Parish Finance Department then the Parish Finance Department shall determine the division of assets, equipment, building assets and personnel between Ascension Parish Government and EACGDD no later than December 1, 2021.
B.12. The Parish President shall have no objection to the contracting of a Drainage Liaison to EACGDD in the capacity of drainage consultant to EACGDD and liaison between the Parish President and EACGDD Board of Commissioners. This contract will be executed within 30 days and the individual selected will be mutually agreed upon by the Parish President and the EACGDD Board.
B.13. The Parish president shall insure that the Drainage Director provides quarterly updates on Drainage personnel including number of full-time equivalent employees, current payroll including benefits, overtime costs and trends upon the Drainage Director’s hire.
B.14. As it relates to Ascension Parish drainage employees, no employee can be terminated prior to the approval by majority vote of EACGDD Board.
B.15. A State of Emergency declaration that involves EACGDD must be brought by a special meeting or at a regular scheduled EACGDD meeting before the EACGDD Board of Commissioners within ten days of the declaration for review. If a quorum is not achieved, another special meeting will be called until a quorum exists.
B.16. All expenditures shall be approved as part of the budgeting process. If non-budgeted expenditures arise, a budget amendment will be presented and must be approved by a majority vote of EACGDD unless there is an approved state of emergency in place then those expenditues shall be placed on the next EACGDD commissioners’ meeting for approval. There shall be no expenditures in excess of $25,000 without approval by a majority vote of the EACGDD with monthly line item expense reports presented by the Parish President to the EACGDD.
B.17. Any official communications to the public pertaining to drainage shall be issued jointly between EACGDD and the Parish President. No official communications pertaining to drainage shall be issued without the approval of EACGDD.
C. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARISH PRESIDENT OR HIS DESIGNEE
C.1. Oversees all public drainage activities as defined by State Law and the EACGDD board within the East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District #1.
C.2. Prepares, presents, and adjusts annual budgets as required by State Law and the EACGDD Board prior to the contracting of a Drainage Director. Thereafter, provides oversight of such activities.
C.3. Prepares and presents an annual Drainage Maintenance Plan until a Drainage Director is named. A Drainage Maintenance Plan for the next 12 months will be presented to the EACGDD within 30 days of the execution of the contract with the Drainage Liaison.
C.4. Attends or designates appropriate personnel to attend monthly Drainage Board meetings to present activity and project status reports on all Maintenance Projects, Plans, and Schedules related to Vegetation, Roadside Ditches, Off-Road Ditches, Sandbagging, the Floodplain Management Plan, and Capital Projects approved by the EACGDD. EACGDD Commissioners will be briefed on Floodplain Management Plan findings in Task 4 – Flood Hazard Assessment and Task 5 – Identify Problems and Develop Risk Mitigation Strategies and how that data and information could or should inform policy decisions related to development and building codes. Drainage Board meetings will be scheduled at a time when EACGDD commissioners can attend.
C.5. Provides substantive answers to Commissioners’ questions and concerns submitted before the Drainage Board meetings or asked during those meetings unless answers are unavailable at that time. Under such circumstances substantive answers shall be provided as soon as available, but if information is unavailable within three days, the Commissioners will be notified and will be informed as to when the information will be delivered or why it cannot be put forward.
C.6. Proactively offers information as a courtesy to the Commissioners such as, personnel changes in the Drainage Department above pay grade 125 and upcoming drainage work and where it will occur in the Parish.
C.7. Recommends and obtains Commission approval for any new projects and activities that are projected to cost over $25,000 in labor and materials and/or for projects that have cost increases to an amount over ten percent (10%) above $25,000.
D. ENSURING PROFESSIONALISM AND EXPERTISE AS ASCENSION PARISH MOVES TOWARD STATE-OF-THE-ART DRAINAGE SERVICES AND FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT
D.1. The Parish President and his staff will deliver a series of presentations to educate and inform the EACGDD and the public about improvements in systems and technology such as the Parish’s new work order system which is designed to provide data and metrics for planning and tracking drainage and other public works activities.
D.2. To ensure effective governance the Parish President in conjunction with qualified subject matter Consultants, will work with EACGDD over the next six months to provide subject-matter-experts, case studies, and examples of effective drainage and flood protection/floodplain management governance structures and models in Louisiana and in other flood prone areas along the Gulf Coast and across the nation. These presentations will occur at the regular meetings of the EACGDD or at special meetings as appropriate culminating in a session to discuss governance options for providing more professionalism and expertise at the governance level to ensure the highest sustainable levels of protection and growth for the Parish going forward.
D.3. The Move Ascension transportation program provides an excellent example of a large, complex effort, and much can be learned from its success. The Ascension Parish Floodplain Management Plan project is on track and will be producing recommendations on risk mitigation opportunities and a final plan with recommended projects in approximately 12 months. Toward that end, within 30 days, the Parish President will engage and contract with a qualified subject matter consultant for the services of a Program Manager who will work closely with the new Drainage Director and the Drainage Liaison to ensure continuity and program success.
E. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
E.1. The Parish President, Drainage Director, and EACGDD shall meet to establish long term goals and objectives annually prior to the establishment of the fiscal budget.
E.2. Established goals and objectives shall be both in report form and supplemented by Gantt chart format providing the projects, timeline goals and budget allocation for each to be presented to EACGDD in the months of June and December.
E.3. A formal evaluation of the successful execution of the drainage plan and program including the accomplishment of goals and objectives as per Items E.1 and E.2 shall occur on an annual basis by the EACGDD Board. Process and exact scoring criteria to be determined by mutual agreement.
E.4. The Drainage Director shall undergo a rigorous evaluation which shall be established and defined in the yet to be determined contract with the Drainage Director as per B.3.
F. DURATION OF THE MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT, DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND TERMINATION
F.1. This agreement will be in effect from the date of execution for the period of one year. Either party may also terminate this agreement by giving the other party a 60-day notice.
F.2. A Resolution Panel consisting of the Ascension Parish Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee Chair, one member appointed by the Parish President and one member appointed by the EACGDD. This panel shall serve for the duration of this Agreement. Should either party determine that there has been some significant and willful breach of a specific element or the overall intent of this Agreement, the Resolution Panel shall require each party to submit a written memorandum stating their position. Each party shall be allowed 10 minutes to present their case, with the complaining party given a 3-minute rebuttal. The Resolution Panel may then question each party in the presence of the other party. The Resolution Panel’s recommendations will be provided in a timely manner, not to exceed one week.