The Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District met in regular session on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Levee Board Office, 3404 Industrial Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana.
The President, James Rabb, called the meeting to order.
PRESENT: BRANTON, BANTLE,MONTOGMERY, ALLEY, RABB, LARKIN, WEBB, LASSEIGNE, TOM ARCENEAUX, ATTORNEY AND ROBERT TOMASEK, DOTD ENGINEER.
The first order of business was opening prayer and pledge of allegiance by Commissioner Rabb.
On motion by Lasseigne seconded by Alley, unanimously passed, the Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes and approved the minutes of the regular meeting held on October 12, 2016.
AMENDMENT TO AGENDA:
On suggestion of the Chair to add an item to the agenda, Larkin moved and Montgomery seconded a motion to add to the agenda discussion of petty cash account. Larkin moved and Bantle seconded a motion to add the item to the agenda. The President asked if any member of the public wished to speak on whether to add the item to the agenda and there were no request to speak. By roll call vote with members present “yes” the motion carried unanimously and the item was added to the agenda.
REQUESTS BY VISITORS:
Bo Phillips, Chief Pilot and Kyle Rodriquez, Marketing Manager representing Aero Pro Drones Service appeared and gave a brief history of their business and the services that they can perform that may be helpful to the Levee Districts. After a lengthy discussion by the Commissioners and Aero Pro Drones Services the Commissioners thanked Mr. Phillips and Mr. Rodriquez for coming. The President asked if there were comments from the public, there were none.
Mark Long, Operations Coordinator advised the Board that he had thought that the contract may be cancelled but, the contractor had found necessary dirt to complete the project. The President asked if there were comments from the public, there were none.
The Board discussed the annual contract with their Attorney, Tom Arceneaux and an email received from Scott Sinclair, which stated the excellent work done by Mr. Arceneaux and his staff. The contract will include wording for Mr. Arceneaux and his staff to charge hourly rates according to the Attorney General schedule.
On motion by Larkin, seconded by Lasseigne and unanimously passed the Board approved a resolution:
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District is presently engaged in extensive and continuing operations in conjunction with various State, Parish, City and Federal Agencies relating to drainage and flood control programs in Bossier Parish, Louisiana; and,
WHEREAS, the Bossier Levee District is financially involved in numerous legal matters arising out of these operations and required legal advice and assistance during regular and special meetings and at various other times regarding these matters; and,
WHEREAS, the District Attorney of Bossier and Webster Parishes, the Board's legally designated counsel, is involved in extensive prosecution of criminal matters in Bossier and Webster Parishes, and does not have a sufficiently large staff to adequately handle the legal affairs of the Board; and,
WHEREAS, the Board previously approved the engagement of Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts (A Professional Law Corporation) (“Blanchard Walker”), and M. Thomas Arceneaux (“Arceneaux”), a shareholder and director of that firm, to serve as its general counsel and counsel for special projects, effective January 1, 2017;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District that in view of the real and urgent necessity of present and future legal counsel, that Blanchard Walker and Arceneaux be retained as General Counsel for the period beginning January 1,2017 and ending December 31, 2017, at a stipulated fee in accordance with professional service contract submitted herewith, subject, however, to the approval of the proper officials of the State of Louisiana at a rate as follows:
1) The following fees for special services in addition to day-to- day matters:
a. $225.00 per hour for attorneys having 10 years or more experience in the practice of law;
b. $175.00 per hour for attorneys having five years or more but less than 10 years experience in the practice of law;
c. $150.00 per hour for attorneys having three years or more but less than five years experience in the practice of law;
d. $125.00 per hour for attorneys having less than three years experience in the practice of law;
e. $60.00 per hour for paralegal services;
f. $40.00 per hour for law clerks.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the President or Vice President of the Board is especially authorized to enter into, on behalf of the Board, the said Professional Service Contract submitted herewith.
On motion by Larkin, seconded by Bantle and unanimously passed the Board approved a resolution authorizing the President to sign the addendum with the Legislative Auditor Office changing the completion date from October 26, 2016 to January 27,2016. The President asked for comments from the public, there were none.
On motion by Branton, seconded by Webb and unanimously passed the Board approved a resolution authorizing the Secretary and Operations Coordinator to dispose of the following equipment, which is no longer in use, in the proper manner. The President asked if there were comments from the public, there were none.
#526 – Stihl Chainsaw
#527 – Lawnmower
#528 – Aluminum Boat
#529 - Trailer shop made
#542 - Chainsaw
#575 - Weed eater
#832 - Laptop for power point
#835 - Laptop
#845 - IBM Typewriter
#850 - Mark’s Tower
#831 - Dell Projector
#206 - Komatsu Trackhoe
The Insurance Committee advised the Board that the increase on Blue Cross Blue Shield, health insurance will increase 6.11 percent and the preminums for Met Life Insurance will stay the same. No comments from the public.
The Secretary and Operations Coordinator discussed the problem that was happening with the inspection of the vehicles each month and stated that the Levee District does not have a petty cash account for these expenses.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Montgomery and unanimously passed the Board approved a petty cash to be established in the amount of $150.00 and will be balanced at the end of each month. All receipts using the petty cash account will be signed and dated by the employee using the money. There were no comments from the public.
LEVEE AND DRAINAGE:
Red Chute Levee Improvement Project
- July 2, 2015 – submitted final plans to Corps and DOTD for review.
- August 6, 2015 – received letter from Statewide Flood Control for Fiscal Year 2016 Funding; $980,100 for FY 15/16; total to date $2,112,115; balance to complete State’s obligation $2,491,345.
- April 19, 2016 – Met with Vicksburg Corps and discussed 408 review; they advised that the information submitted by Dewberry was inadequate for their review.
- June 15, 2016 – Meeting scheduled with Vicksburg Corps to discuss 408 H&H submittal.
- July 21, 2016 – Met with Statewide Flood Control manager and discussed building the project in two phases; Phase 1 being from ground line up to current levee elevation and Phase 2 being from current levee elevation up to new levee design grade when approved by Corps. Billy Williamson, Statewide Flood Control manager, spoke favorable of the plan for 2 phases of construction; at this time, we have not received an official approval.
- July 29, 2016 – Approved contract for Dewberry for additional work required for Corps 408 permit H&H submittal in the amount of $71,210.00.
- October 11, 2016 – Submitted plans for Red Chute Levee Widening Project to the Vicksburg Corps for permit approval.
- November 7, 2016 – Received Letter dated July 21, 2016 advising of additional funding from Statewide Flood Control for Fiscal Year 2017 in the amount of $2,491,345 bring the project to be fully funded at $4,603,460.00.00.
Red Chute Levee Maintenance
- Received approval to advertise for bids for HDPE pipe liners for two locations between I-20 and State Levee; revised estimated material cost $105,000.00.
- Work is ongoing by BLD crews filling low areas on Red Chute Levee between Hwy 80 and Dogwood Trail.
Bossier Drainage Maintenance Initiative
- October 5, 2016 - Hired Timberland Maintenance Service on hourly basis to remove trees and logs from Red Chute Bayou Channel; work completed on October 31, 2016, total cost $28,657.50.
Red River Levee Maintenance Repair Project
- October 5, 2016 – Opened bids for Red River Levee Maintenance Repair Project; with a low bid from 3 Gen Construction LLC of $397,626.00.
Red River Levee PL 84-99 Repairs
- August 18, 2015 – PL 84-99 Eligibility Determination site visit with Vicksburg USACE to inspect bank caving near Red River Levee station 1080+00 to 1087+00; also area near levee station 2385+00 stability berm is eroding.
- February 3, 2016 – Spoke with Barry Moore with the Vicksburg Corps and he advised that the PL 84-99 request has been approved and funds are available for the bank stability repairs at levee station 10+80 to 10+87. He anticipates that a notice to proceed will be given in June of this year and the estimated completion date is September 15, 2016.
- March 31, 2016 – Sent Authorization for Entry to Corps for PL 84-99 survey work.
- June 8, 2016 - Furnished construction RW document for repair work.
- July 12, 2016 – Verbal commitment from Corps for work to begin mid-September with Corps Hired Labor Crew.
- October 31, 2016 - Barry Moore with Vicksburg Corps advised that funding for PL 84-99 repairs is on hold.
Levee and Drainage Crews
- Mowing levees and drainage channels.
- Maintenance repairs on levees between US 80 and Dogwood Trail.
- Inspecting levees, channels, and drainage structures; cleaning outfall pipes and flap gates.
- Servicing and repairing equipment.
- Mulching debris from channel cleanout and clearing.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Branton and unanimously passed the Board authorized the Secretary to pay the bills for the month of October in the amount of $133,542.04.
The President asked if there were comments from the public, there was none.
On motion by Lasseigne, seconded by Webb the meeting adjourned.
__________________________ _____________________________ James Rabb, President Mary Jane Easterly, Secretary