Approximately one year ago, the Parish participated in a two-day conference hosted by the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio in Alexandria, Louisiana. The purpose of the conference was to determine if there were viable storm water or flood control projects in north and central Louisiana that could be eligible for federal and/or state assistance.
A preliminary review of the potential project areas by LSU and the Parish led to the selection of a storm water drainage project in an area from the easternmost part of the City of Natchitoches to the Red River. The proposed project was assisted by professional designers, planners, and environmental consultants whose participation was arranged by LSU. The result of the work done at the conference was that the proposed project should receive further evaluation.
Recently, the Parish was notified by LSU that the project had been selected as one of three in north and central Louisiana for further study. This is great news for the Parish and the City. The first step will be the performance of a hydrology and hydraulics study (H&H study) for the project area. To assist the Parish, the LSU contacted various federal agencies for assistance. They informed the Parish that the U.S. EPA, in coordination with the American Geophysical Union/Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) is willing to assist the Parish with the study. The preliminary cost of the study is approximately $100,000 and it will be performed at no cost to the Parish or City.
To date, the Parish and City has participated in two telephone conferences with our partners in Washington, D.C., Dallas and Baton Rouge. The first task is to prepare the definitive scope of the H&H study and to solicit professionals to perform the study. Upon completion of the scope of services for the study, TEX and LSU will seek to arrange the professional services required.
The estimated time to complete the H&H study is 12 months, with an additional 6 months for the next phase of work which will be the identification of public policy implications related to the eventual physical improvements to be undertaken.
The local community lead for the project is Parish President Rick Nowlin, with support from Mayor Lee Posey and City/Parish Engineer Nick Verret. President Nowlin expressed his appreciation to the project partners at LSU, EPA and AGU/TEX for their assistance in this critical project. Without their assistance, this effort would not be possible.