The Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District met in regular session on Wednesday, September 9th, 2020, 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.
ROLL CALL PRESENT: ALLEY, BANTLE, LARKIN, MONTGOMERY, AND MOORE
The first order of business was opening prayer by Commissioner Montgomery and the Pledge of Allegiance by Commissioner Larkin.
On motion by Moore, seconded by Alley, and unanimously passed, the Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes and approved the minutes at the regular Board Meeting held on August 12th, 2020.
AMENDMENT TO AGENDA:
On suggestion of President Larkin to add an item to the agenda, Alley moved and Montgomery seconded a motion to add to the agenda a discussion regarding the Red River Levee Certification. 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:
Lifewater Church along with its representative, David Hall, submitted an Encroachment Permit Request to construct a proposed gravel parking lot that would potentially encroach the Bossier Levee District’s Control Area approximately 30 to 40 feet near Willow Chute Bayou.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Alley, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board granted approval for the construction of the gravel parking lot at Lifewater Church.
Tim Larkin discussed an issue with a basin in the vicinity of the Tinsley ball field project that needs Improvements due to an outfall channel that provides storm water drainage connection from the above area to Lateral B-4 near the intersection of Crowing Lane and Shed Road.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Moore, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board authorized funds up to a maximum of $10,000.00 to be utilized to engage an engineer to work on behalf of the District. They concluded that this project would require further communication between the District and the City of Bossier City for completion. No comments from the public.
John Hartman with Uniti Fiber submitted an after the fact revised permit request for approval for a directional bore crossing the Flat River at US 79 – 80.
On motion by Moore, seconded by Alley, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board approved the request with the stipulation that a hold harmless from and against any damage to the installation caused by maintenance or equipment be issued since the installation did not meet the District’s minimum depth requirements. No comments from the public.
Mr. Long discussed the Red Chute Widening Project with the Board that included time management and staffing concerns, past and present change orders, recent bad and stormy weather, and the outcome of a recently scheduled meeting with the contractor, Testament Construction.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Montgomery, and on recommendation from the Applications
Committee, the Board agreed to make a change order to the contract to widen the surface of the road that runs alongside Red Chute Bayou Levee during the construction process with Testament Construction.
The Board will make provisions to allocate funds at the next meeting once they receive more information from the engineer. No comments from the public.
The Board was to discuss any proposed plats received that were needing approval from the Bossier Levee District. There were none to review, therefore, no action was taken.
The Board was to adopt a new millage rate @ 4.17 mills for the 2020 reassessment year and the passage of the resolution. (NO ROLL FORWARD)
On motion by Alley, seconded by Moore, and unanimously passed the Board authorized the Bossier Levee District to adopt the millage rate of 4.17 mills for the reassessment year of 2020. Due to time constraints, Covid 19 (Corona Virus), recent hurricanes and the lengthy process of rolling forward to 4.30 mills, the Bossier Levee District will withdraw their earlier decision and reconsider rolling forward at another time in the near future. No No comments from the public.
The Board to discuss the resolution approving President, Tim Larkin to sign the contract for professional services by and between the Louisiana Legislative Auditor and Broussard & Company extending the deadline from September 1st until September 30, 2020, to enable the completion of the BLD audit.
On motion by Montgomery, seconded by Alley, and unanimously passed, the Board authorized the President, Tim Larkin to sign the resolution extending the audit 30 days to enable both entities to complete and finalize the audit for fiscal year 2019- 2020. No comments from the public.
The Board discussed seeking Kurt Nixon with Nixon Engineering to do an analysis of the study of the Red River Levee Certification completed by the CORPS.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Montgomery, and unanimously passed, the Board authorized the BLD to contract Nixon Engineering to conduct a study of the Red River Certification performed by the CORPS. No comments from the public.
LEVEE AND DRAINAGE REPORT:
Red Chute Levee Improvement Project
- January 9, 2019 at 9:30 am. – opened bids on Red Chute Bayou Levee Improvement Project; with low bid of $5,145,791.49 from Testament Construction Services, LLC. - March 22, 2019 – contract signed with Testament Construction. -July 23, 2019 – Started Time Charges. - January 6, 2020 – Work approximately 50% complete. - June 1, 2020 – contractor resumed work activities. - September 9, 2020 – Work approximately 55% complete; estimated rain days added to contract time 132 days, as of this date approximately 84 days remaining before contract time plus rain days expire.
Red Chute Levee Raise Project
- Mitigation analysis for levee raise is being conducted by Nixon Engineering and Dewberry Consultants. - October 31, 2019 – Nixon Engineering delivered mitigation report. - December 8, 2019 – Kurt Nixon and Jacob Lesue presented the board with mitigation study results. - March 11, 2020 – Kurt Nixon submitted a revised mitigation study report with recommendations for a levee raise and mitigation.
Red Chute Bayou Channel
- Recent high-water events have caused several slope failures on the bayou inside Barksdale AFB; work is needed to remove trees and stabilize slope failures near levee. - July 24, 2019 – Vicksburg Corps conducted a damage assessment of high-water damages on Red Chute Bayou; no determination as of November 11, 2019. - December 9, 2019 – Donald Walker, Chief of Vicksburg Corps Emergency Management called and advised that the Vicksburg Corps would be providing funding for approximately 10 bank caving sites along the levee. - December 10, 2019 – Captain Papia with the Vicksburg District made a site visit to assess the bank repair areas. - March 30, 2020 – received letter dated March 24, 2020 from the colonel of the Vicksburg District Army Corps denying our request for PL 84-99 funding for bank caving repairs. - Waiting for further direction from Corps on repair requirements.
Levee Inspection Compliance
- BLD has substantially completed an inspection and report of deficiencies on the Red River Levee including items listed on the USACE 2019 Levee Inspection Report. Our plan of action is to start removing all unwanted vegetation and other encroachments in areas where permission can be obtained from property owners. - Work on north end of levee is underway removing encroaching trees and brush. - August 12, 2020 – board approved work for sluice gate valve repairs on Red River Levee in the amount of $24,956.00.
Red River Levee Certification
- Levee certification expires September 30, 2019. - May 8, 2018 – sent letter to Corps requesting their services in providing new levee certification.
Red River Corps Study
- 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. - August 28, 2019 – the Vicksburg Corps met with the Flood Technical Committee and briefed the Committee on the preliminary findings from the Study. The Study has produced a new 100-year flood profile which indicates that a portion of the levee north of Lock and Dam 5 has less than the minimum 3-foot free board; the new 100-year flood profile will also require new Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) be established. The Study is scheduled to be completed in March or April of 2020. Shona Gibson with FEMA Region 6 was also at the meeting and she said the Corps and FEMA will be working together to produce the new BFE’s; she also said that our levee system will not be re-certified due to the deficient levee height north of Lock and Dam 5. - December 6, 2019 – we received the new 1% WSE river profile grades for the Red River Levee from the Vicksburg Corp. - December 13, 2019 – we received plan and profile drawings with new 1% WSE river profile. - February 7, 2020 – we received word from Craig McRaney with the Vicksburg Corps that the levee can be raised above elevation of Lock and Dam 5 Road; Mr. McRaney also advised that the levee district should submit a request for a 408 permit to raise the levee in the areas with insufficient freeboard. - February 10, 2020 – a conference call was held with several members of the Vicksburg Corps; the purpose of the call was to seek guidance on how to expedite the permit for the levee raise and to request that the Corps provide assistance in obtaining the permit. Very little new information was obtained from the call; the Corps did say that they would research the Congressional Authorization for the levee to determine if any restrictions such as an additionally congressional authorization would be needed to raise the levee. - August 6, 2020 – Corps held a WebEx meeting and discussed the summary report; they also provided copies of the report.
Red River Levee Surfacing
- Advertised for bids for 7.9 miles of levee aggregate surfacing beginning at the north end of the levee; estimated cost $600,000.00 to $625,000.00; an additional $90,000.00 is anticipated for access road improvements. - Opened bids at 10:00 am July 14 th and received a low bid from Newt Brown Contract in the amount of $641,580.00. - August 10, 2020 – Access road bridge replacement anticipated to be substantially complete on August 12, 2020. - August 10, 2020 – Issued notice to proceed with work on levee surfacing contract effective August 13, 2020. - September 8, 2020 – Work is approximately 60% complete and is currently on hold waiting for Enable Midstream to make required improvements to two existing pipeline crossings; currently crossings are unsafe for truck traffic and heavy equipment.
Flat River Erosion Repairs
- Nixon Engineering – working on survey and preliminary design for erosion control work north of Sligo Road. - Drop pipe replacement planned pending design from DOTD; location approximately 2 miles upstream of Sligo Rd. - September 8, 2020 - Bank repairs and work on lot at 5825 Bayou Drive in Golden Meadows Subdivision is substantially complete; only work lacking is completion of rear chain-link fence.
Herbicide Channel Maintenance
- August 12, 2020 - Annual herbicide channel maintenance contract with Superior Forestry Services, Inc. for backpack application on various levee district channels was completed; quantity completed 241.7 acres; amount $41,089.00.
Red Chute Bayou Levee Culvert Rehab
- May 9, 2018 – approval given for contract to line remaining unlined CMP Culverts on Red Chute Bayou Levee in the amount of $138,317.52. - August 12, 2020 – board approved replacing a double 48” x 193’ CMP with a new 10-gauge Poly coated CMP; with a low quote in the amount of $105,000.00 from F.J. Burnell, Inc.
Bossier Levee District Facility Maintenance Repairs
- August 12, 2020 – board approved various facility repairs in an amount not to exceed $65,000.00.
Levee and Drainage Crews
- Herbicide application on levee fence rows and drainage channels. - Inspecting levees, channels, and drainage structures; cleaning outfall pipes and flap gates. - Removing fallen trees from levees and channels. - Mowing levees and drainage channels. - Breaking up beaver dams. - Repairing gates on levee. - Clearing trees and brush along Red River Levee. - Servicing and repairing equipment.
The following vehicles have been ordered thru the State Contract
- The following equipment is scheduled to be sold as surplus. 1) 2003 Case MX 110 with 5313 hours; Equipment # 205. 2) 2016 John Deere 6135E with 520 hours; Equipment # 380. 3) 2016 John Deere 6135E with 326 hours; Equipment # 381. 4) 2009 John Deere 7230 with 4975 hours; Equipment # 207. 5) 2009 John Deere 7230 with 4705 hours: Equipment # 208. 6) 2007 Ford F-450 with 103,566 miles; Equipment # 108. 7) 2000 John Deere Track Excavator with 4790 hours; Equipment # 203.
On motion by Moore, seconded by Montgomery, and unanimously approved, the Board authorized the Secretary for the District to make payments for the month of September in the amount of $222,810.54 as set forth in the materials provided for the Board.
The September 9th , 2020 Bossier Levee District Board Meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:55 a.m.
__________________________ _____________________________ Tim Larkin, President Deanna S. Rabb, Secretary