The Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District met in regular session on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 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: BANTLE, BRANTON, MOORE, LARKIN, RABB, MONTGOMERY, STELLY, ROBERT TOMESAK, DOTD ENGINEER AND TOM ARCENEAUX, ATTORNEY.
ABSENT: ALLEY AND WEBB.
The first order of business was opening prayer and pledge of allegiance by Commissioner Montgomery.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Branton unanimously passed, the Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes and approved the minutes of the regular meeting held on April 12, 2017.
REQUESTS BY VISITORS:
Joey French, French Engineering representing Lucky Trust Bridge met with the permit committee prior to the meeting and on recommendation by Commissioner Larkin the committee advised Mr. French provide the Levee Board with the final plans and a letter of no objection from the Bossier Parish Police Jury. When this information is obtained by the Board, the Board will do its best to convene a special meeting to consider this permit. No comments from the public.
Butch Ford, Bossier Parish Engineer appeared requesting a permit for tank cars to be placed in Willow Chute Bayou. This matter was tabled until the next meeting, at which time, Mr. Ford will have additional information. No comments from the public.
Kirk Thomas, Pulley White Insurance Company, appeared and gave his report on the insurance for the Board which will renew in July, 2017. No action was taken.
Brad Smith and Del Huddleston with Huddleston Smith appeared and discussed with the Board the investments of the Board. There was discussion on the investments and future projects the Board hopes to complete in the upcoming years. No action was taken. There were no comments from the public.
The following Motion and Resolution was offered by Bantle who moved for its adoption and seconded by Larkin at the May 10, 2017, meeting of the State Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District.
WHEREAS, The Board of Commissioners of 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 of Commissioner of the Bossier Levee District agrees to pay at a stipulated fee in accordance with professional service contract and to the approval of the proper officials of the State of Louisiana at a rate as follows:
The following fees for special services in addition to day to day matters:
$225.00 per hour for attorneys having 10 years or more experience in the practice of law.
$175.00 per hour for attorneys having five years or more but less than 10 years’ experience in the practice of law.
$150.00 per hour for attorneys having three years or more but less than five years’ experience in the practice of law.
$125.00 per hour for attorneys having less than three years’ experience in the practice of law.
$ 60.00 per hour for paralegal services;
$ 40.00 per hour for law clerks;
WHEREAS, this resolution shall take effect immediately.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Louisiana State Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District, pursuant to La. R.S. 42:262, does hereby retain and employ Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts, M. Thomas Arceneaux, as special counsel; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT THIS resolution and proposed contract described herein be submitted to the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana for approval.
The resolution having been submitted to a vote, the vote thereon was as follows:
NOT VOTING: 0
Whereupon the Resolution was declared adopted by the Louisiana State Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District on May 10, 2017.
The President asked for comments from the public, there were none.
The Board reviewed a request by Joe Jones, 210 Cross Creek Drive, Bossier City, La. for an easement reduction at this location.
On motion by Stelly, seconded by Montgomery and unanimously passed this request was tabled until next month.
On motion by Larkin, seconded by Stelly and unanimously passed the Board approved a resolution authorizing the Secretary to transfer $400,000.00 from Huddleston/Smith Investments to the Board’s checking account for expenditures, payroll, purchase of equipment, levee surfacing and ditch cleaning projects. No comments from the public.
The Board reviewed a map presented by JL Ministries on property recently purchased along Benton Road. The Board authorized Mark Long, Operations Coordinator to review this matter after all information is received. No comments from the public.
Commissioner Branton, chairman of the nominating committee reported that the committee had selected the following for 1st Vice President, Timothy Larkin and 2nd Vice President, Tydes Alley, Jr. The President asked if there were any nominations from the floor, there being none, these Commissioners were elected by acclamation.
The Board reviewed a proposal from Raley & Associates to create a poly line depicting the Bossier Levee District Boundary. After much discussion the Board ask the Operations Coordinator to obtain another estimate, so this can be discussed at the June meeting. No comments from the public.
On suggestion by the attorney to add an item to the agenda that was not posted 24 hours prior to the meeting, Montgomery moved and Branton seconded a motion to add to the agenda discussion and a proposal for a stream study of Beniot Lateral and Beniot Lateral 1 area. 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.
The Board discussed the proposal for a stream study of Beniot Bayou 1 and Beniot Bayou area at length. Comments were made by Butch Ford, Parish Engineer and Kurt Nixon, Nixon Engineering. The Board agreed to obtain additional information and discussion with other agencies on the cost of this study. This matter will be continued at the next meeting. No comments from the public.
Commissioner Moore made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Larkin to enter into executive session to discuss the Lucky Estate Bridge replacement.
Voting in favor: Branton, Bantle, Moore, Larkin, Rabb, Montgomery and Stelly.
Commissioner Bantle, seconded by Commissioner Stelly to close the executive session.
Voting in favor: Branton, Bantle, Moore, Larkin, Rabb, Montgomery and Stelly.
On motion by Larkin, seconded by Montgomery and unanimously passed the Board authorized Attorney Tom Arceneaux to consent to a settle up to $10,000.00 for indemnity cost.
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.
- December 6, 2016 – Received call from Vicksburg Corps, Neal Lewis, Ray Wilson, and James Harper advising that the levee widening permit request requires an H&H study. Randy Denmon and Jacob Lesue are working on an estimate for the study.
- February 14, 2017 – Received call from Mike Miller with Vicksburg USACE Regulatory advising that we need to submit a new 404 permit request.
- February 27, 2017 – Vicksburg Corps members by conference call advised that the proposed levee widening project would require a H&H Analysis as currently designed; they implied that if the levee widening could be shifted to the land side of the levee the H&H Analysis would not be needed.
- April 25, 2017 – Dewberry submitted an additional H&H analysis for the levee widening project to the Vicksburg Corps; uncertain at this time on when the Corps will comment on their review.
Red River Corps Study
- March 15, 2017 – Received email from Rich Brontoli advising that the Vicksburg Corps had received funding for the Sediment Survey and Hydraulic Model for the Red River.
- March 29, 2017 – Received schedule of activities for Corps Sediment Study and Hydraulic Analysis for the Red River; estimated time for Hydraulic Model to be finalized is July 2019 and the estimated time for the Sediment Model to be finalized is December 2019.
Red Chute Levee Maintenance
- Received bids for HDPE pipe for lining 72-inch CMP; low bid of $167,210.54 from Contech Engineered Solutions; bid was 55% above estimate. Awarding of bid is not recommended at this time; will explore alternate solutions.
Bossier Drainage Maintenance Initiative
- Received a quote in the amount of $49,050.00 from Timberland Maintenance Services to remove trees and brush from Shady Grove Ditch and Southgate Estates Ditch and an additional cost of $2.25 per linear foot for fence repair which will be required for access; the estimated cost for fence repair is $2,250.00 bringing total estimated cost for work to $51,300.00.
- May 9, 2017 – Work should begin in approximately one week.
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.
- November 16, 2016 – notice to proceed given.
- Change Order number 1 increased the project amount from $397,626.00 to $407,617.50.
- April 3, 2017 – Project substantially complete.
- Final change order to correct estimated quantities to actual quantities required for the work; Final Change Order brings total project cost to $418,666.28; a net increase of $11,048.78 above amount in Change Order number 1.
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.
- February 23, 2017 – Spoke with Katy Breaux with the Vicksburg USACE who advised that funding for the Red River Levee Bank Caving Repairs was available through supplemental funding received by the Corps.
- April 11, 2017 – spoke with Katy Breaux and she advised that the Corps had ordered the riprap for the levee repairs at Red River Levee station 1080+00 to 1087+00 near A.R. Teague Parkway and it should be delivered in approximately one month; she said work should begin soon after riprap is received depending on Corps hired labor crew schedule.
- Red River Levee between Viking Drive and Shed Road, we received quotes to surface approximately 1.36 miles of levee which has no surfacing between levee station 820+00 to 892+00; the low quote from Newt Brown Contractor. LLC in the amount of $109,760.00.
- May 9, 2017 – Work should begin within 1 to 2 weeks.
- Ordered John Deere 160G LC Track Excavator thru State contract in the amount of $167,040.90.
- Request approval to rescind request for declaring 2 – 2016 John Deere 6135E Tractors as surplus material at this time due to lengthy delivery dates for purchase of new tractors thru State contract.
- Ordered new ½ Ton 4x4 pickup truck thru state contract at a cost of $24,764.00.
Levee and Drainage Crews
- Herbicide application on channels and levees.
- Inspecting levees, channels, and drainage structures; cleaning outfall pipes and flap gates.
- Cleaning debris from bridges on Red Chute Bayou and Flat River.
- Mowing levees, drainage easements and channels.
- Servicing and repairing equipment.
- Breaking beaver dams.
- Trapping hogs and beavers.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Branton, and unanimously passed the Board approved the Levee and Drainage report. No comments from the public.
APPROVAL OF EXPENDITUES:
On motion by Moore, seconded by Branton and unanimously passed, the Board approved the expenditures in the amount of $ 62,835.76.
__________________________ _____________________________ James Rabb, President Mary Jane Easterly, Secretary