William Daniel: Stop subsidizing developers on their projects

William Daniel (left) with his boss, President Matassa

Infrastructure Director recently decried Ascension Parish’s practice of reimbursing sewer development fees paid by subdivision developers who turn over collection systems and pump stations to the parish.  William Daniel deemed the practice “really egregious” since every developer is required, at a minimum, to install such basic infrastructure by Louisiana Department of Health and Ascension’s Land Development Code.

“We are subsidizing developers on their projects,” Daniel told the Parish Council Utilities Committee last week.

He continued, saying it is “very painfully obvious (the practice) is eating up our chances” to undertake sanitary sewer projects on the way to comprehensive wastewater treatment for East Ascension Parish.  Daniel promised to “rewrite” applicable ordinances to remedy the problem in the near future.

Sewer development fees were adopted by the Parish Council in 2011 but were not imposed on development until recently.  The imposition coincided with the parish’s failed Public/Private Partnership (P3), Ascension Environmental, that was abandoned in February 2017 after 14 months of fruitless negotiation.

“We are courting disaster by our failure to take on sanitary sewer on the east bank,” said Utilities committeeman and wastewater treatment’s most ardent Council proponent, Daniel “Doc” Satterlee.  “I know we got off to a rocky start but I want to personally thank Mr. Daniel for his frank assessment and I look forward to working with him on this vital issue.”

Early this year Satterlee roundly criticized Daniel’s monthly presentation of operations at Parish Utilities of Ascension (formerly Peoples Water Company until Ascension purchased the west bank utility in September 2016).