Chase Melancon named chair of East Ascension Drainage Board, Aaron Lawler chosen vice chair

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
The Ascension Parish Council’s District 6 representative Chase Melancon was selected as the chair of the East Ascension Drainage Board.

The East Ascension Drainage Board selected Chase Melancon as chair and Aaron Lawler as vice chair during its first meeting of 2022 on Jan. 10.

In the virtual meeting broadcast by Ascension21, the two Ascension Parish Council members each thanked their colleagues.

"Thank y'all very much. I truly appreciate it," said Melancon, whose 6th district includes the St. Amant area. "This position means a lot to me and I'm very excited about this. There's a lot of things I want to see us get accomplished together."

Both positions were chosen without any opposition from the members attending.

Aaron Lawler

"I thank everyone for putting faith in me. I'm looking forward to working with Chase and the administration to improve drainage around the parish," said Lawler, whose 7th district includes the Prairieville area.

Melancon also recognized Dempsey Lambert, who served as chair of the board for seven years.

Melancon pointed out how daunting and exhausting the duties of the board can be.

"Traffic is tough. It's an inconvenience. But flooding and losing your home, that's a life-altering event," he said.

Also during the meeting, members heard updates on drainage projects underway over recent months. HNTB then gave an updated on the Ascension Parish Floodplain Management Plan.

Later, board members discussed the ongoing flood issues in the Shadows of Manchac subdivision in the Prairieville area. They have said though the subdivision is private property, it creates flooding issues in the surrounding area.

Lawler said the subdivision has an immediate problem as normal rainfall causes flooding that blocks the entrance and exit.

John Cagnolatti made a motion to approve just phase one, and not phase two, of the dry retention pond project. The cost of phase one is $501,627.

After more discussion, Lawler provided a second to the motion. It passed without opposition.