East Ascension drainage approves discussions with Prairieville subdivision association

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Chase Melancon speaks during the East Ascension Drainage Board virtual meeting held Sept. 20.

The East Ascension Drainage Board approved of Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment entering discussions with a Prairieville homeowners' association regarding work on a private retention pond.

During the Sept. 20 virtual meeting, some of the parish council members expressed concerns over setting a precedent with other subdivisions.

The issues with the retention pond can create flooding problems within the Shadows at Manchac subdivision and the surrounding residential area. The subdivision is located north of Hwy. 42 in Prairieville.

Aaron Lawler, whose district includes the subdivision, said the decision only allowed the parish president's administration to enter discussions with the homeowners association.

Joel Robert quickly brought up his concern over the parish paying for work on private property.

Cointment said there is "somewhat of an engineering flaw" on the three weir system of the dry retention pond.

"This is somewhat of a unique situation and an engineering flaw," Cointment said.

According to the president, questions include right of access, where dirt would go, and if the project could be handled in-house or with a contractor.

Cointment said the matter would return to the board for a final decision.

As mentioned by Chase Melancon during the discussion, an estimated for the project totaled nearly $400,000.

The ten-member board, which excludes the westbank's council member Alvin "Coach" Thomas, voted 7-1 to approve of Cointment entering into talks with the association.

Council members Teri Casso and Michael Mason were both absent from the meeting.

Robert objected, and voted against the move.