Parish enters cooperative endeavor with Sorrento

Staff reports

The Ascension Parish Council entered into a no obligation cooperative endeavor agreement with the Town of Sorrento at its regular meeting last week that would allow the town to use certain parish sewer services.

Under the agreement, Sorrento will be able to issue work orders to parish approved contractors to clean out sewage lines on an as needed basis.

The agreement was requested by Sorrento Mayor Blake LeBlanc in an attempt to relieve the beleaguered town of some of it ongoing sewer problems.

Sorrento is to notify the parish Utilities Department when it has a sewer problem, and the parish will contact one of its approved contractors with a request for a repair estimate.

Work then proceeds under the parish contract, saving Sorrento of having to go through a long drawn out bidding and approval procedure.

When the work is complete, the parish will verify that it was satisfactorily performed and issue payment to the contractor. The town then issues reimbursement payment to the contractor.

The one-year agreement was unanimously approved by the council.

Councilmen Kent Schexnaydre, Dempsey Lambert, and Adrian Thompson, and Council Chairman Pat Bell were absent from the meeting.

In an unrelated matter, the council heard a presentation from Amite River Basin Executive Director Dietmar Rietschier, who advised the council regarding a millage renewal on the Oct. 2 ballot which partially funds the work on the Amite River diversion canal now under construction.

The 10-year-renewal of the 2.65 millage proposal will produce key non-federal matching funds, Rietschier said.

The canal is designed to divert 50 percent of the water from a major flooding event into the Mississippi River, he said.

It is has been funded so far with roughly $70 million in non-Federal funds and $55 million various non-Federal funds.

The project will affect the northeast area of Ascension Parish by resulting in the lowering of water levels by about a foot under certain conditions, according to Rietschier.

In other unrelated business, the council:

• Approved a Mossy Oak Planned Unit Development concept plan for the PUD. Councilman George Valentine, in whose district the PUD is located, said the developer has agreed to save some of the trees under the approved plan that would have been destroyed in the earlier version of the PUD. Former Parish Councilman Jared Beiriger is vice president of Quality Engineering Services, the firm that represents the PUD developer, Fleet Odom LLC.  The changed PUD Plan includes land for a grade school, rather than an originally proposed commercial area.

• Introduced an ordinance amending the parish ordinance that determines idle/no wake zones to exclude private clubs and boat launches with less than 10 parking spots.