SBPG vows to fight July 1 drainage turnover

The St. Bernard Parish Government is heading back to court to stop the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District from turning over the parish’s pumping and drainage system to parish government July 1.

SBPG has been in court with the levee district and its parent entity, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, off and on over the past year as the two sides struggle to find a compromise where SBPG will take over its own drainage while receiving proportional funding from the flood protection authority. The lawsuits have been on hiatus in recent months as the two sides appeared close to a deal, but on June 18 the parish council, during an executive session meeting behind closed doors, rejected the levee district’s most recent offer: a one-time investment of $4 million from the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority, a one-time payment of $3 million from SLFPA and the transfer of an annual millage worth approximately $1.4 million per year.

On June 25 SLFPA issued a press release outlining the terms of the rejected offer and stating its intention to turn drainage and pumping over to the parish at the end of its latest board approved stay, which expires July 1.

St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said June 26 that the parish’s legal team will likely file an injunction for a mandamus compelling SLFPA to continue operating St. Bernard’s internal drainage system, which is already in terrible shape.

“We’re not going to allow them to divest themselves from their responsibility to St. Bernard,” said McInnis. “And they’re not going to take our tax dollars either. We’re going to stand up for our citizens and make the levee district do their jobs.”

 

 

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