Extra funding for Lafourche Parish drainage problems

Better drainage is always a top issue in LaFourche Parish. Now, parish leaders may have a little more money to put towards fixing the problem.

Since construction and operation of a new parish detention center will be paid for by a new 0.2-percent sales tax, Lafourche Parish is pulling what's left of the $400,000 it put aside for the jail. Part of that money will be used to fix roads in southern Lafourche Parish, but the remaining $177,000 will go into the drainage fund.

It's not a significant amount," said Lafourche Parish Council member, Jerry LaFont. "But I think it can help out a good bit."

LaFont says the problem has only been exacerbated with the recent rainy weather.

"It seems like lately that rain comes down in barrels or buckets in a short amount of time," said LaFont.

That weather shines a bigger spotlight on the number of drainage projects that require funding: extra pumps, new pumps and levee work just to name a few. Lafourche is also fighting to keep the parish's field workers, so there's a possibility that the money could be used to give those workers a raise.

"A lot of these parish workers want to work for these big corporations that are paying a lot more," said LaFont. "We can't pay what those corporations pay, but if we can keep it close, I think we have enough benefits that they'll stay with the parish."

"If we can do projects in-house, there's certainly a savings there," said Parish President Charlotte Randolph. "The fact that they are very talented is important to us too," she says citing the recent high demand for skilled mechanics and laborers in the area.

While the council doesn't know exactly how it will spend the money, council members know every drop in the bucket makes a difference.

Lafourche Parish Council plans to talk more next month about what drainage projects to undertake.

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