Savoy appointed to levee board

Staff reports

BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday the appointment of former Ascension Parish Council Chairman Jerry Savoy  to the Pontchartrain Levee Board.

Savoy, a St. Amant resident who will represent Ascension Parish on the board, is a process technician with Occidental Corporation, an oil and gas company. He is also a former member of the East Ascension Drainage Board.

Savoy was nominated to the board by Ascension Parish legislators, as required by statute.

Headquartered in Lutcher, the Pontchartrain Levee Board is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the levees and maintaining the levee drainage systems within Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes.

The district maintains 115 miles of East Bank Mississippi River levee and an additional 10 miles of hurricane protection levee in St. Charles Parish. The Pontchartrain Levee District protects an estimated 500,000 residents in the six-parish area and incorporates the evacuation routes for 1.1 million people from the southeast and an additional 300,000 people from the southwest via U.S. 61, Interstate 10, I-310, and U.S. 90. Additionally, within the six-parish area is an estimated $1.2 to $1.5 billion in assessed taxable property as well as highways, bridges, airports, schools, courthouses, parks and historical landmarks.

The district operates on an annual budget of approximately $5.2 million derived from an ad-valorem tax, interest and royalities. There are 53 classified employees, an executive director and a board secretary employed by the district.

Current board members include President Steven C. Wilson and Commissioners Webb L. Harelson of Iberville Parish, Jesse J. Bartley of the Illinois Railroad Company, Marty Poche of St. James Parish, William Anthony Cunningham of St. Charles Parish, Michael DeLanune of CN/Illinois Central Railroad and William Addison of East Baton Rouge Parish.

The seat representing St. John the Baptist Parish is currently vacant, according to the district’s Web site.