Proclamations made, resolutions passed at parish council meeting

Halen Doughty
President Kenny Matassa, Reginald “Duck" Brown, and Councilman Oliver Joseph

It was a brief meeting of the Ascension Parish Council on Thursday evening in Donaldsonville. Parish President Kenny Matassa made numerous proclamations at the April 5 meeting, recognizing both national initiatives and local community members.

Matassa first recognized NACO, the National Association of Counties, proclaiming April 2018 as National County Government Month. In the proclamation, he stated that counties throughout the country provide essential services to create healthy and safe environments by administering justice, creating opportunities, providing healthcare, and keeping communities safe. NACO focuses on the role of counties in breaking cycles of poverty. Ascension Parish is a member of NACO and proudly supports its mission of serving the underserved.

The Community Development Block Grant Program was then touted when Matassa Proclaimed April 2-6 as National Community Development Week in Ascension Parish. Matassa said Ascension has been in the CDBG program for many years. These grants provide funding for public infrastructure, economic development, and housing programs.

In his final proclamation, Matassa recognized Reginald "Duck" Brown for his dedication to coaching students in Donaldsonville. Brown was born in New Orleans as the seventh of eleven children and had a childhood in which he displayed respect, kindness, and love for all. Brown was also a star athlete at Lowery Middle School and Donaldsonville High School. Although he did not have children of his own, Brown was a mentor to thousands of children over the years as a coach. He founded the Biddy Basketball League in D'ville and helped reorganize baseball in the city. Matassa proclaimed April 5, 2018 as Reginald Duck Brown Day in Ascension Parish.

Following the presentations, the parish council took up its business in passing a resolution to renew a tax that funds the operation and maintenance of the drainage works. The East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1 would levee and collect the tax for a period of ten years beginning in 2019 and ending in 2028.

Members noted this is not a new tax, but a renewal of an existing tax. Councilman Todd Lambert said this tax is very important for Ascension Parish. Lambert said it is strictly for maintenance of drainage ditches.

"We get a lot of calls on drainage and cleaning ditches and cutting grass in ditches," said Lambert. "This is what this tax is providing for, and without these small ditches cleaned, we would have a whole lot more flooding."

Councilman Randy Clouatre echoed that sentiment, calling the tax vitally important for residents on the East Bank of the parish.

"We can work on the big projects but it's the constant upkeep of the small canals and the ditches that keep our localized flooding out in rain events," said Clouatre.

The resolution passed without opposition. The proposal to renew the tax will appear on the ballot during the election held November 6, 2018.

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