Ascension Parish Council approves treatment plant proposal

Michael Tortorich

The Ascension Parish Council voted 9-1 to approve an Oak Grove sewer treatment plant proposal.

The Ascension Parish Council’s John Cagnolatti talks to fellow council members Alvin “Coach” Thomas and Joel Robert at the first sewer proposal open house event in Donaldsonville.

Decided during the March 18 meeting in Gonzales, council members initially expressed concerns about spending $408,000 on the sewer plant. 

Owned by the parish, it serves Oak Grove Primary School, as well as surrounding businesses and homes in the Prairieville area.

The move comes as parish leaders have been on an informational campaign before asking voters to decide on a proposal to privatize the regional sewer system for the east bank. It will be on the April 24 ballot. 

Ascension Parish Chief Administrative Officer John Diez said even if residents approve of the regional deal, it would still take time to fully transfer assets to National Water Infrastructure.

Council member Dempsey Lambert said the Oak Grove issues have been a known problem at the school in the Hwy. 42 area.

In another matter during the meeting:

-- The council approved the salary of newly-appointed Registrar of Voters Shanie Bourg. 

She will be paid $91,500 annually.

Bourg replaces longtime Registrar of Voters Robert Poche, who retired at the beginning of the year after almost four decades in the position.

The job is effectively a lifetime appointment. Duties include registering voters in the parish and assisting with elections.

Bourg emerged from a field of 17 candidates for the job. The council’s process narrowed the field down to three finalists: Bourg, Murphy Painter, and Joanne Reed.

She is an Ascension native who previously worked for the Secretary of State.