The Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District met in regular session on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at the Levee Board Office, 3404 Industrial Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana.
The President, Tim Larkin, called the meeting to order
PRESENT: ALLEY, LARKIN, MONTGOMERY, MOORE, STELLY, WEBB, TOM ARCENEAUX, ATTORNEY AND ROBERT TOMASEK, DOTD ENGINEER.
The first order of business was opening prayer by Commissioner Webb and the pledge of allegiance by Commissioner Larkin.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Alley, unanimously passed, the Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes and approved the minutes of the special meeting held on August 7, 2017 as well as the regular board meeting held on August 9, 2017.
AMENDMENT TO AGENDA:
On suggestion of the Chair to add an item to the agenda, Webb moved and Moore seconded a motion to add a request on behalf of Mark Long seeking additional funds to be granted for the Flat River Lateral Ditch Repair and the Flat River Erosion Repair projects that were previously approved. Montgomery moved and Alley seconded a motion to add this item of extra funding for the Flat River projects 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 requests to speak. By roll call vote with all members present voting “yes,” the motion carried unanimously and the item was added to the agenda.
REQUESTS BY VISITORS:
Mike Defalco, appeared representing Broussard & Company to discuss the Bossier Levee District’s Annual Financial Report and Audit for the year ending June 30th, 2017. He reported on the BLD’s assets, cash flow, investments, liabilities, expenditures, balance sheet, and found no problems and stated that everything was in good order and complemented the staff for their excellent work as well. He stated that he (Broussard and Company) would work alongside Sheffield and Sheffield and they would file all appropriate forms with the State of Louisiana.
James Sterritt, Attorney, representing Cook Yancey Law Firm and Sheri Sterritt, his wife appeared again requesting the Bossier Levee District Control Area not Be shown on the Plat for the resubdivision of Hickory Ridge Estates Unit #3, Lot 2, Block A. He requested that the writing of the proposed plat and the marking of the Control Area on the restrictions on the plat, and that the Control Area did not apply to his property. Due to the nature of this argument and its legal position the BLD’s attorney, Mr. Arceneaux was charged with producing a decision and presenting it to Mr.Sterritt on or before Oct 4th, 2017.
The Board discussed a potential implementation of residential, agricultural, and commercial fences. Some factors discussed were maintenance and space needed for continuing maintenance, caution about buildings, possible future improvements to the channel, residential – 50 feet as standard, gates – minimum 16’ gate for access.
On motion by Stelly and seconded by Montgomery and unanimously passed, the Board approved to adopt a new general policy that will state that any structure, fence, or building or material landscaping in the Bossier Levee District’s Control Area will require an application for a permit. No comments from the public.
On motion by Alley and seconded by Webb and unanimously passed, the Board approved their legal counsel, Mr. Tom Arceneaux to draft a simple policy and permit process/form for the Bossier Levee District to utilize in the future. No comments from public.
The Board acknowledged that Mark Long, Operations Coordinator, was authorized administratively to process the permit requested by Texas Eastern Transmission, LP to Abandon portion of a 14” lateral 11-G Enbridge existing Pipeline. No further action needed or taken.
The Board discussed a proposed project for improvements to the Red River Levee consisting of gap closures at two Union Pacific Railroad Crossings.
On motion by Webb and seconded by Stelly unanimously passed, the Board approved the recommendation to authorize Denmon Engineering to provide a concept design drawings with a cost not to exceed $5,000.00 for gap closure design options. No comments from the public.
The Board had a discussion regarding the Manager of Pecan Valley Mobile Home Parks request for repairs of a ditch adjacent to their property which runs into Flat River. It was discussed that this was a needed improvement to help this subdivision with drainage and flood control as well.
On motion by Moore and seconded by Montgomery and unanimously passed, the Board approved the recommendation to perform the work on above said public drainage ditch after obtaining a construction easement from the owner. The Board authorized the Bossier Levee District to hire Coyle Engineering to produce plans and for the BLD to commence with the work by BLD forces or by outside contract with a budget not to exceed $100,000.00. No comments from the public.
The Board reviewed the current payment status and renewal recommendation of the Atkins - Sonnier Family Lands, LLC Borrow Pit Lease and Surface Agreement.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Stelly and unanimously passed the Board authorized the secretary to process the $5,000.00 payment due and to seek the renewal of the lease on or before its expiration of December 31, 2017. No comments from the public.
On motion by Moore, seconded by Montgomery and unanimously carried the Board passed a resolution to adopt the readjusted 4.300 tax millage rate for 2017.
No comments from the public.
On motion by Moore and seconded by Webb and unanimously carried the Board passed the resolution authorizing all Commissioners, BLD’s Legal Counsel - Mr. Tom Arceneaux, and its Staff to attend the Association of Levee Board’s Convention in New Orleans, LA to be held on December 5 -7, 2017 and be reimbursed for all actual expenses. No comments from the public.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Montgomery and unanimously passed the Board authorized the secretary to transfer $450,000.00 from Huddleston/Smith Investments to the Board’s checking account for expenditures. No comments from the public.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Alley and unanimously passed the Board approved a resolution authorizing the Bossier Levee District to provide lunch for its support staff employees to express gratitude for the past award recognition from the Vicksburg Corps of Engineers. No comments from the public.
Tim Larkin, President – appointed the following committees:
Larkin, Chairman Alley, Member Webb, Member
Equipment, Buildings and Grounds:
Montgomery, Chairman Stelly, Member Bantle, Member
Insurance and Finance Committee:
Larkin, Chairman Alley, Member Webb, Member Moore, Member
Applications Review Committee
Larkin, Chairman Alley, Member Stelly, Member Long, Member Applications Review Committee meets prior to each Board meeting.
Mr. Tim Larkin discussed the recent letter that comprised several signatures, including the Bossier Mayor, Bossier City Engineer and Parish Engineer, and the Bossier Parish Administrator in which the Bossier Levee District Board detailed the necessity of the Red Chute Levee Project to the Vicksburg Army Corps. of Engineers. This discussion covered the proposed questions concerning the widening and or the raising of the levee and the conflicts that they had met with them regarding permits and an approval from the Federal Government.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Alley and unanimously passed the Board approved the resolution charging Mr. Tim Larkin to formally seek participation for a plan to widen the top of the levee and secure authorization from city and parish government offices and their cooperation to envision this construction without causing any danger to the environment. No comments from the public.
Mr. Mark Long, Operations Coordinator, discussed the Flat River Lateral Ditch Repair and the Flat River Erosion Projects and the need for approval of additional funding to be allocated to the previously approved project.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Alley and unanimously passed the Board approved an additional expenditure of $10,000.00 to be allocated for the completion of the Flat River Erosion Project bringing the total funding amount to $81,255.00. No comments from the public.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Montgomery and unanimously passed the Board approved an additional expenditure of $40,000.00 to ensure the completion of the Flat River Lateral Ditch Repair Project bringing the total approved budget amount to $80,761.00. No comments from the public.
LEVEE AND DRAINAGE REPORT:
Red Chute Levee Improvement Project
- July 2, 2015 – submitted final plans to Corps and DOTD for review.
- 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 – Met 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 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.
- 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 full 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.
- June 2, 2017 – Received call from Neal Lewis with Vicksburg Corp; he stated that he thought the levee widening permit would be approved; additional reviews are required by MVD; estimated time to receive 408 permit 30-45 days. In addition, a 404 permit is required and will not be approved until after the 408 permit is received.
- August 7, 2017 –Vicksburg Corps Senior Staff, James Ross, Henry Dulaney and others meet with BLD and discussed the ongoing 408 review for the Red Chute Bayou Levee Improvement Project; they made suggestions for revising the permit request letter and funding needs for the Corps 408 review.
- August 23, 2017 – mailed revised 408 request letter to Colonel Derosier for Red Chute Levee Widening Project.
- Borrow Pit Lease scheduled to expire 12-31-2017.
Flat River Erosion Repair
- Received quotes for channel slope repair on Flat River on the north side of US 80, with a low quote of $71,255.00 from Newt Brown Contractor. Work has not started; revised quotes needed.
- F J Burnell started work on ditch repairs on the Flat River Later Ditch located on the north of Sligo Rd on the south side of Golden Meadows Subdivision, due to various problems encountered in constructing the repairs it appears the original quote of $40,761.00 well likely increase by 100%.
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.
Bossier Drainage Maintenance Initiative
- Work ongoing, with BLD crew and equipment, clearing brush and small trees from banks of Red Chute Bayou between Hwy 80 and Dogwood Trail.
Drainage Channel – Herbicide Maintenance
- Received quote from Superior Forestry Service to back pack spray 206.1 acres at $170.00 per acre; total $35,037.00.
- Work began on August 31, 2017; 80% complete.
- Red River Levee surfacing repairs, approximate station 520+00 to 567+50 and station 1453+00 to 1471+00, combined length 6,550 feet. Received quotes for work with a low quote of $55,419.00 from Newt Brown Contractor. Work started on September 5, 2017 and completed on September 11, 2017.
- Red Chute Levee Surfacing; 0.73 miles of levee surfacing at north end of Red Chute Bayou Levee (State Levee). Received quotes for work with a low quote of $49,539.00 from Newt Brown Contractor. Work started on September 12, 2017.
Red Chute Bayou
- Red Chute Bayou CMP Repair; requested quotes to install HDPE Pipe Liners for repair of existing 72 inch diameter CMP culverts; received low quote of $144,100.00 from Cambridgemoen LLC. Authorized contractor to order pipe.
Red River Levee Improvements
- Hired Denmon Engineering to survey and develop a preliminary plan for gap closures at two locations where the Red River Levee alignment and UP Rail Road cross between Viking Drive and Shed Road. During the June 2015 flood event the water surface elevation was within approximately 1.9 feet of low points of the Rail Road crossings.
- Requesting approval to move forward with project; estimated cost for geotechnical work is $8,084.00; based on Denmon’s preliminary design the estimated cost for construction is $303,000.00. Requesting approval for geotechnical work and general scope of work.
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 1080+00 to 1087+00. He anticipates that a notice to proceed will be given in June of this year and the estimated completion date is September 15, 2016.
- 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.
- August 29, 2017 - Corps Hired Labor Crew began work on Red River Levee Bank Caving repairs at levee station 1080+00 to 1087+00 near A. R. Teague Parkway.
- Ordered two new John Deere 6145M Cab Tractors thru state contract in the amount of $91,972.64 each; total $183,945.28. Estimated delivery date January 2018.
Levee and Drainage Crews
- Clearing brush and small trees from west bank of Red Chute Bayou between Hwy 80 and Dogwood Trail.
- 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.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Secretary for the district be and she is hereby authorized to make the payments set forth above in the amount of $146,265.90.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Webb the meeting was adjourned at 11:50.
__________________________ _____________________________ Tim Larkin, President Mary Jane Easterly, Secretary