Parish News

Easement problems aren't easy

10/05/2018

When heavy rains fall in Bossier Parish, water needs to flow from one place to another as quickly and smoothly as possible to prevent flooding on roads and streets in subdivisions.

Police Jury personnel are continually working on drainage projects that help protect against high water, but there are some areas where performing necessary maintenance and upkeep on drainage systems isn’t possible.

“The jury cannot work on drainage projects unless we have easements. It’s our policy that we can’t do anything on drainage without easement,” Parish Engineer Butch Ford said. Ford was addressing the situation Wednesday during a meeting of the police jury’s road/subdivision regulations committee.

Ford said he had inspected one concrete ditch that needed clearing located in a subdivision divided into small lots. When he returned to his office and checked records, he found the jury did not have the easement.

“We have to be so careful when helping people where the space is tight,” he said. “But we don’t have the easement but this is a public need. We will just have to see what we can do.”

Drainage is usually the responsibility of the subdivision developer, Ford told committee members. Consequently, some systems are configured in strange manners and are sometimes very close to existing homes, leaving little room for the equipment necessary for repairs and maintenance.

Easements do not automatically come to the police jury when the body votes to accept streets and roads into the parish system for maintenance. In the past, Ford explained, the request would be brought to the police jury and easements would be acquired by donation from the property owner.

“Then, we would have the right to work on the system if necessary,” Ford said.

Police jury members also:

·      Awarded bids for the Bevly Lake Drive Ad Atkins Clark Rd. projects.

·      Authorized advertising for bids for demolition of three homes under the Hazard Mitigation Grant program.

·      Approved plats for the proposed development of Buckhorn Ridge subdivision; for the proposed development of McLemore Plantation subdivision, Unit 3; for the proposed development of Tandem Plaza subdivision; and for the proposed development of Reeder subdivision, Unit 1-A.

·      Scheduled a public hearing Nov. 7 to consider the application of Ryan Estess, Raley & Associates to the Bossier City-Parish MPC for a zoning amendment to change classification of a portion of two lots in Williams subdivision to R-MD, residential, medium density district for an apartment complex.

·      Adopted ordinances to officially post certain bridge structures in the parish and to adopt annual certification of compliance in connection with the Louisiana Off-System Bridge Replacement Program.

·      Adopted a resolution supporting the Louisiana State Racing Commission’s decision to deny approval of any transfer of purse money from Delta Downs to Evangeline Downs.

·      Approved a request from Dozier Vogel to lease parish property at 265 Hurricane Bluff, Elm Grove.

·      Approved an amendment to the contract with CB&I Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., now APTIM Environmental & Infrastructure, for consulting services to assist the police jury with disaster and recovery services for the March, 2016 flood event.

·      Approved a short form of agreement between owner and engineer for professional services of Owen and White, Inc. for the North Bossier Shared Use Trail, no rise certification/culvert size.

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