The Board of Commissioners of the Bossier Levee District met in regular session on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 10:10 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: Commissioners - ALLEY, LARKIN, BANTLE, MOORE, AND STELLY. Staff- Mark Long, Deanna Rabb, Tom Arceneaux, staff attorney, Robert Tomasek and German Velazquez from the Department of Transportation and Development.
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 Montgomery, and unanimously passed, the Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes from the regular Board Meeting held on January 13, 2021 and approved them at the regular Board Meeting held on February 10, 2021.
REQUESTS BY VISITORS:
Mr. Dirk Rainwater, homeowner, submitted a letter of request to complete his property line fencing which runs along the Willow Chute Levee bordering his residence located at 125 Indian Point Drive in North Bossier Parish.
On motion by Bantle, seconded by Alley, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee to Approve the permit to the top bank of the ditch, the Board approved the issuance of a fence permit that encroaches onto the District’s Control Area to the top bank of Willow Chute Bayou on behalf of Mr. Rainwater for his residence located at 125 Indian Point Drive, subject to approval by DOTD. No comments from the public.
Homeowner, Mr. Cody Thomas submitted a permit request to construct a proposed garage at his residence located 100 Colonel Burt in Benton that encroaches into the Bossier Levee District’s Control Area along Willow Chute Bayou.
On motion by Stelly, seconded by Moore, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board postponed the issuance of a permit to Mr. Thomas for the garage construction to encroach onto the Disrtrict’s Control Area along Willow Chute Bayou, due to the lack of not receiving a grading plan for review, and subject to the approval by the Parish Engineer as well. No comments from the public.
Mark Long updated the Board regarding the Red Chute Levee Widening Project. He communicated and reported on the progress and likely cost overruns. The Board discussed the integrity of the current levee, how to proceed further with Testament and their request, and the current plan for a flood fight to be potentially fought during the ongoing construction with the levee and the road.
On motion by Stelly, seconded by Bantle, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board authorized President Larkin and Mark Long, Operations Coordinator of the BLD to execute one or more change orders relating to the changes in the present plans to permit different methods for paving a foundation for the road running alongside Willow Chute Bayou Levee, with all approvals not to exceed a total of $600,000.00. No comments from the public.
The Board discussed a preliminary subdivision plat received from the MPC on the Waterford Bend, Unit #3, for approval from the Bossier levee District.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Bantle, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board approved the plat and authorization was given to the BLD for the issuance of a letter of no objection to the MPC, subject to a change in the nomenclature from “Easement” to “Control Area”. No comments from the public.
The Board discussed the Beast Engineering Amendment #1 to the present Construction Engineering and Inspection Services contract on the Red Chute Guideline Levee received from Denmon Engineering, Co.
On motion by Alley, seconded by Stelly, and on recommendation from the Applications Committee, the Board approved the removal of a cap on the total in the contract due to the ongoing changes and other circumstances with the ongoing Red Chute Levee Widening Project. 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. - January 31, 2021 – Work approximately 68.7% complete.
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 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. - January 5, 2021 – sluice gate repairs at station 1170+00 substantially complete. - February 8, 2021 – sluice gate repairs are being evaluated for Red River Levee station 1070+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.
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. - September 9, 2020 – hired Kurt Nixon to review options for levee certification. Awaiting meeting with Vicksburg Corps to discuss 408 permit requirements. - January 11, 2021 – held conference call with Vicksburg Corps and discussed 408 permit requirements for raising the areas with deficient free board on the Red River Levee north of Lock and Dam 5.
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.
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. - Pipes delivered to BLD yard on December 18, 2020; installation pending suitable site conditions.
Bossier Levee District Facility Maintenance Repairs
- August 12, 2020 – board approved various facility repairs in an amount not to exceed $65,000.00. - Jackson Construction began work on January 27, 2021.
Levee and Drainage Crews
- Clearing brush and tree encroachments on Red River Levee. - Making various repairs on the Red River Levee in preparation for a USACE Periodic Levee Inspection scheduled to begin on March 15, 2021. - Inspecting levees, channels, and drainage structures; cleaning outfall pipes and flap gates. - Removing fallen trees from levees and channels. - Breaking up beaver dams. - Repairing gates on levee. - Servicing and repairing equipment.
- 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 Alley, and unanimously approved, the Board authorized the Secretary for the District to make payments for the month of January in the amount of $224.954.38 as set forth in the materials provided for the Board.
The February 10th, 2021 Bossier Levee District Board Meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:55 a.m.
__________________________ _____________________________ Tim Larkin, President Deanna S. Rabb, Secretary