Parish Council visits Washington DC

Greg Fischer
Ron Savoy, Craig Anderson, and Thomas Pearce give reports at the West Ascension Consolidated Gravity District Board Meeting on March 2 before the council meeting.

The Ascension Parish Council met in D'ville on March 2 to discuss their recent trip to Washington, D.C. and other items like GPS systems on parish-owned vehicles.

A delegation from the parish council recently visited DC, where they met with the National Association of Counties (NACo). Chairman Bill Dawson complemented representatives of other counties across the U.S. that are comparable in certain ways.

The council maintains that the FEMA response after the August Flood was unsatisfactory, from trailers, to the flow of money. Ascension Parish, moreover, received only one percent of $462 million dollars the federal government recently allocated to Louisiana for disaster recovery.

That was deemed inadequate, since Ascension carries the industrial load for the country. The next disaster recovery allocation due to the state is $2 billion.

"If we get double digits [percentage] on that, we'll be doing really good," Councilman Randy Clouatre and Dawson literally finished the sentence in unison.

The parish council is currently discussing the Comite River project and touched upon clearing and dredging Bayou Manchac. Clouatre said major concerns of the parish are the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flood protection, and coastal restoration.

Vice-Chairman Oliver Joseph said their delegation spent "two long days on the hill."

Councilman John Cagnolatti added that they met with "the agencies that matter." The council appears optimistic about Ascension receiving more help soon. Dawson was complimented by the council for his efforts in DC.

"Mr. Chairman, you done a good job," Councilman Dempsey Lambert said. "Help is on it's way."

Furthermore, President Kenny Matassa opened the meeting with a brief discussion about policy that would govern the placing and monitoring of GPS units on all parish-owned and leased vehicles.

"There was a system in place previously, but it was discontinued due to the need for reevaluation following inconsistent application in the previous administration," Public Information Officer Martin McConnell said. "This new system under consideration will more fairly and equitably monitor parish vehicles."

Matassa discussed later in the meeting the need for a parish burn ordinance, which currently does not exist.

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