The Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District met in regular session on Wednesday, October 14, 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, AND STELLY
ABSENT: MONTGOMERY AND MOORE
The first order of business was opening prayer by Commissioner Alley and the Pledge of Allegiance by Commissioner Larkin.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Stelly, and unanimously passed, the Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes from the regular Board Meeting held on September 9th, 2020 and approved them at the regular Board Meeting held on September 9th, 2020.
REQUESTS BY VISITORS:
Kurt Nixon appeared at the Board Meeting to give an update on the Red River Levee freeboard deficiency. He was asked to perform research on behalf of the Bossier Levee District for obtaining a 408 permit to raise the levee.
On motion by Stelly, seconded by Bantle, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board authorized the hiring of Nixon Engineering to coordinate with the Bossier Levee District to initiate the application process for a 408 permit for a potential Red River Levee raise to bring it into FEMA freeboard compliance. No comments from the public.
Mr. Mike Defalco, representing Broussard & Company, Inc. joined the Board Meeting by conference call due to the past hurricanes in south Louisiana and COVID -19 / Coronavirus instead of joining the meeting in person and presented the Bossier Levee District’s Annual Financial Report and Audit results for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2019.
Michael Guyton with CHR Partnership met with the Finance and Insurance Committee prior to the Board meeting and discussed the Bossier Levee District’s Insurance Renewal effective on December 1, 2020.
On motion by Bantle, seconded by Stelly, the Board authorized the insurance renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield with the moderate increase in premium being absorbed by the Bossier Levee District 2020 – 2021 budget. No comments from the public.
Michan Holbrook with Coyle Engineering on behalf of the Bossier Parish Police Jury was present at the meeting seeking approval for a bridge replacement over Flat River on Linton Road.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Stelly, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board approved the permit request submitted by Coyle Engineering on behalf of the BPPJ for the replacement of the bridge. No comments from the public. (PERMIT #2020 – 38)
Mr. Randall Smoak with Cothren, Graff, Smoak Engineering. Inc. submitted a permit request for the installation of culverts and construction of a driveway crossing Willow Chute Bayou located at 1060 Wemple Road on behalf of their client Mr. Thomas Moore.
On motion by Stelly, seconded by Bantle, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board granted approval for the construction of the driveway for homeowner, Mr. Thomas Moore located at 1060 Wemple Road subject to receiving the no rise study and DOTD approval. No comments from the public. (PERMIT #2020 – 39)
Mr. Fabio Cantu with Artistic Backyard Creations submitted a request for an encroachment pool permit near Willow Chute Bayou on behalf of Ms. Jennifer Netterville located at 17 Caledonia Drive in Tiburon Subdivision.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Bantle, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board declined an immediate approval for the construction of the pool due to the BLD seeking further information regarding pool placement being proposed to be built within 73 feet from the high bank of Willow Chute Bayou and to raise the question if a fence permit will be filed in conjunction with this permit as well. (PERMIT # 2020 – 41)
Mark Long updated the Board regarding the Red Chute Widening Project. He communicated that Testament Construction is still moving slower than expected, recent change orders #5 ($40,024.78 - issued for additional work to correct the levee alignment south of HWY 80) and CO #6 ($66,583.86 – issued to install pipes and culverts for the proper tie-in of 2 existing access ramps). He also discussed the option for the BLD to submit a change order that would allow some alterations in the plans that would widen the road alongside the levee. He stated that the current project was at about 58% complete with 61 days left in the contract. After a lengthy discussion the Board recommended NOT to submit a change order and to continue with the current plans with Testament, as another change would incur a lengthy delay and push the completion date back and the roadway alongside the levee could be widened at a later date. No action taken and 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 discussed some unresolved flooding issues located in Plantation Estates as reported to the Bossier Levee District by Jeff Raley with Raley and Associates.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Bantle, and unanimously passed the Board authorized the Bossier Levee District to hire an Engineer to observe and calculate the impacts of the low water crossing. No Comments from the public.
On motion by Bantle, seconded by Alley, and unanimously passed the Board approved the transfer of $500,000.00 from Huddleston Smith to the checking account for upcoming expenditures including payroll and construction projects. 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 30, 2020 – Work approximately 58% complete; approximately 17% of contract time remaining or 61 days based on added weather days calculated thru July 31, 2020. - October 14, 2020 – change order 5 in the amount of $40,024.78 was issued for additional work required to correct the levee alignment south of Hwy 80. Change order 6 in the amount of $66,583.86 was issued to install pipes and other related work necessary for the proper tie-in of two existing access ramps.
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
- May 8, 2018 – sent letter to Corps requesting their services in providing new levee certification. - Levee certification expired September 30, 2019. - September 9, 2020 – hired Kurt Nixon to review options for 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. - September 23, 2020 – BPPJ placed load limit of 10 to 15 tons for trucks on Stinson Road. This load restriction has halted all work on the Enable Midstream pipeline crossing repairs as well as levee surfacing. An option to allow work to proceed is to access levee from south end of project which will require additional payment in the amount of $12.00/Ton; approximately 4230.5 tons of aggregate remaining; estimated amount of overrun $50,766.00. - October 13, 2020 – Received word from BPPJ engineer that a permit can be issued to the contractor to access the levee on Stinson Road with the understanding that the contractor will maintain the road during use.
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 16, 2020 - Bank repairs and work on lot at 5825 Bayou Drive in Golden Meadows Subdivision is complete.
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 Bantle, seconded by Alley, and unanimously approved, the Board authorized the Secretary for the District to make payments for the month of September in the amount of $418,230.40 as set forth in the materials provided for the Board.
The October 14 th , 2020 Bossier Levee District Board Meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:58 a.m.
__________________________ _____________________________ Tim Larkin, President Deanna S. Rabb, Secretary