Louisiana Watershed Initiative awards $1.25 million to Donaldsonville drainage project

Michael Tortorich

During the West Ascension Drainage meeting, Ascension Parish Executive Assistant David Weil announced the $1.25 million awarded through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative for drainage improvements in Donaldsonville.

A Donaldsonville drainage improvement project was among those to receive funding through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative.

“I got the news when I was on vacation,” Weil said. “I had to pull off to the side of the road, I was so excited.”

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment and Weil joined City of Donaldsonville officials for a virtual meeting held Jan. 12. Back then, city leaders agreed to support the parish in seeking the federal grant to address larger drainage issues on the west side.

Chair Alvin “Coach” Thomas touted the award as a win for both Ascension Parish and the City of Donaldsonville.

“The city and the parish are working together,” Thomas said.

As parish officials have said in a previous meeting with city leaders, the west side of Ascension was in region 6, while the east bank was in region 7.

The Bonadona-Cataldo Subdivision Drainage Pump Improvements project was awarded the funds for drainage improvements. It was among the west bank projects initially submitted.

The scope of work will include ditch and drainage structure improvements along several streets, including St. Patrick, Vatican Drive, and Maginnis, according to Weil’s presentation at the beginning of the year.

Weil said the project had to be shovel-ready to be awarded in the first of three rounds. He said it was 13 months in the making.

In applying for assistance, the project could not currently be underway, and beneficial to at least one Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or most impacted and distressed (MID) area.

Weil said the west bank is in the running for an additional pump project tied to the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District.