"I just hope we hit the brakes a little bit, and let's involve the public a little bit more," said Chase Melancon, incoming councilman.

The Ascension Parish Council held their regularly scheduled meeting, November 21. Perhaps the most heated item on the agenda was the discussion surrounding a review of negotiations and the agreement surrounding the proposed regional sewer system.

The negotiations discussed involved the Construction, Operation, and Cooperative Endeavor agreement between Ascension Consolidated Utility District Number Two and Ascension Sewer.

While the overall consensus amongst the public was that Ascension Parish would benefit from a regional sewer system, their concern is that the Ascension Parish Council is going about the process in a rushed and risky manner for taxpayers.

There were also concerns during the public comments regarding rate-increases over the course of the proposed 30-year deal.

"I just hope we hit the brakes a little bit, and let's involve the public a little bit more," said Chase Melancon, incoming councilman.

Another councilman-elect, Corey Orgeron reviewed the agreement and had mirrored sentiments. While he thanked the council for sharing the current information, his hope is that they will continue to do so with the public.

"When we're talking about a half a billion dollars, it's hard for us to trust without verification," Melancon said.

"This sewer contract needs to pass the smell test. And right now, from the public's side I don't believe it is. And that's our job. That’s our job as a public servant is to make sure the public trusts what we're doing," he said.

The council postponed voting on the multi-million dollar agreement prior to the meeting, and will continue negotiations surrounding the issue.