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Infrastructure Committee
The Infrastructure Committee is chaired by Craig Berry 
Message from OCA - 
As you know, I have always thought that drainage and flood control have been top priorities in District 3, and in particular the Ormond subdivision. Over the years several capital projects have been proposed and funded to address these issues and there have been definite improvements made. What we still need however is a reliable drainage and flood control system. There are many projects that we need to focus on. These would include, but not be limited to and not listed in the order of priority:
·         Install automatic bar screen cleaners at Pump Stations 1 and 2.  This has now been completed.
·         Install a flood gate on Ormond Boulevard at the entrance to the subdivision off Airline Drive (Note: the railroad currently opposes the proposed design plan).
This is not required now that the Cross Bayou Pump Station has been completed.
·         Install permanent back-up electric generators for the pump stations in lieu of rental generators provided just during hurricane season (what if the power fails in March?).
·         Finish the ACoE hurricane levee and floodgates. > read more. This has now been completed.
·         Install pump stations in the ACoE hurricane protection levee. > read more This has now been completed.
·         Install a permanent pump station at the entrance to Ormond (between Airline and the RR Tracks) to replace the temporary portable unit located by the Bank. Remember, before Ormond Boulevard was raised at the entrance, we had two permanent pumps. These were removed during construction. This is not required now that the Cross Bayou Pump Station has been completed.
·         Construction of the Dunleith Canal bank reinforcement work. Working.
·         Ormond golf course lakes cleaning and drainage pipe improvements (these lakes don't only steal your golf balls, they function as surge control for the drainage system). > read more  This has now been completed.
·         Increasing the flow cross sectional area of the canal that flows to Pump Station #1 below Ormond Boulevard (current bottleneck). This has now been completed.
The OCA will be aggressively working with the Parish to build new working relationships with the new administration to help advance infrastructure improvements. We will also work with the Parish to develop a long term drainage plan for District 3, which is prioritized by need and budgeted by cash flow by year.
East Bank Hurricane Protection Levee Update-
It is with GREAT pleasure that I inform you that our Legislative Delegation has once again spoken and, more importantly, been heard.
At the outcome of the Special Session of the Louisiana Legislature, Senate Bills 8 and 9, those concerning levee board consolidation, left Pontchartrain Levee District in a position to continue to serve the people of St. Charles and St. John Parishes. 
As most of you know, the primary focus of this Southeast Regional Levee Authority is set to be promotion of a regional project to keep storm surge out of Lake Pontchartrain. An issue that may affect hundreds of thousands of people! Our Senator and Representatives recognized the concerns brought forth by many of our fellow citizens and local officials that the issue of raising the St. Charles Hurricane Protection Levee and adding pumps to replace the flood-gate structures (which affects only about twenty thousand people) as well as moving forward with our effort to authorize and build the West Shore Hurricane Levee Project (which may affect only thirty thousand people), would have trouble remaining on an equal footing with the aforementioned issue.
Furthermore, it was clearly understood that our parishes are already part of a six (6) parish regional board stretching from East Baton Rouge down to the St. Charles/Jefferson Parish line. As a fellow resident of St. Charles Parish and President of the Board, I can state without question that our NUMBER ONE priority is raising the St. Charles Levee to the same height as East Jefferson's levee (16.6 feet vs. 13.5 feet), putting additional pumps in lieu of the planned floodgates, and "jump-starting" the process of construction of the West Shore Levee to protect the residents of St. John Parish.  PLD believes that our current regional board has done an excellent job of pursuing these goals.

Senator Chaisson proposed an amendment to Senator Boasso's bill which keeps St. Charles and St. John Parish as part of the new consolidated levee district. We are a full partner insofar as any regional issue is concerned. The only difference is that our current levee district will continue to focus on our local issues which only affect residents of St. Charles and St. John Parish. Senator Boasso and the entire delegation as well as the administration, overwhelmingly accepted this amendment as part of the final version of this bill. The net effect of this amendment is a net gain for St. Charles and St. John Parish residents by having a voice on both. Additionally, there will be no taxes collected on any Regional Project without a vote of the people of St. Charles or St. John Parish so the net effect is that your levee millage will remain at it's current 3.74 mils.

Additionally, I have recently been confirmed as the regional representative on the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority which, as a result of language passed in this session, will actually have authority to steer Federal Funding to projects.

So you see friends, we went from one set of input to at least three.....what more could we ask for?????????? We need to get it done now, no excuses!

Thank you all for your support and continued efforts!

Steve C. Wilson
President, Board of Commissioners
Pontchartrain Levee District
2204 Albert Street
Lutcher, La. 70071
225-869-9721 (o)

Some update on the East Bank Hurricane Levee is attached (labeled 6-21-05). This will give your members a clear picture of where we stand and why we are not complete.  We HAVE received additional funding to complete the lifts to 13.5 feet by beginning of 2007 Hurricane Season. Please understand that this will still require future lifts to stay at that height. All gaps are now closed to a level of 6' in spite of shortcomings of Federal Funding. Also, attached is a letter from Stan Green, Project Director for the St. Charles Urban Study (the pumps) whereby he confirms additional funding for that study. PLD has committed to the local share of this additional money and we met last week to sign on. PLD is being very aggressive in trying to convince the USACE to allow us to go directly to design and construction on the next station at Cross Bayou. I'd be glad to meet with your Board at any time to give you a better explanation of status if needed.

Call if any questions.

Steve C. Wilson
President, Board of Commissioners
Pontchartrain Levee District
2204 Albert Street
Lutcher, La. 70071
225-869-9721 (o)

I'd like to advise the local sponsors for the St. Charles Parish Urban Flood Control study of recent developments concerning funding.  The US Senate has passed a Department of Defense spending bill that includes substantial additional funding for studies and projects in the areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  The House has yet to act on this legislation.  However, the bill passed by the Senate was similar to one already passed by the House, except that the Senate removed provisions that would have permitted drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.  I think it's likely that the House will pass the bill as modified by the Senate when they reconvene in January.
The bill contains $1,100,000 for expediting the St. Charles Parish UFC study.  These funds would be in addition to the $200,000 allocation previously made available for fiscal year 2006, giving us a total of $1,300,000.  These funds would be subject to the provisions of the feasibility cost sharing agreement executed in March 2005, meaning that the funds would have to be matched on a 50/50 basis by the local sponsors, either with cash or with approved in-kind work (as specified in the project management plan).
If the study sponsors are in a position to support funding at this level, we will have to meet to discuss the best means of advancing the study in the event that the bill is signed into law by President Bush.
Stan Green
Senior Project Manager
St. Charles Parish Urban Flood Control Study
UPDATE from the Pontchartrain Levee District