Today, the Rapides Parish Police Jury voted to assign federal disaster recovery funds (which were subsequently defined as “drainage” funds, though this allocation was never specifically assigned to drainage projects by the Louisiana Recovery Authority) to repair deficiencies along the Red River levees- which is, arguably, the most significant and critical “drainage” project in all of Central Louisiana.

Kudos to the Rapides Parish Police Jury.

If these deficiencies are not properly addressed, 95% of Alexandrians and tens of thousands of Central Louisianans would likely face massive, skyrocketing flood insurance premiums, creating an unbearable burden in a region in which the median household income is nearly half of the national average.

Although the failure to address these issues would disproportionately affect Alexandria, the most densely populated city in our region, all of the deficiencies along federal levees are outside of the Alexandria city limits. Considering the current Republican-endorsed one-year moratorium on earmarks, which was endorsed by our sitting Congressman, and given the timeline of decertification process, I believe it was right and wise to use immediately available federal funds to correct a federal government problem, and I commend those on the Jury who understood the real and pressing need to take action.

Despite what has been reported on other blogs, correcting the deficiencies on federal levees is the most important step we can take, and it is appropriate that we use federal dollars, instead of requiring that the local taxpayers exclusively shoulder the entire burden in order to correct engineering flaws on federal levees.

The alleged deficiencies along non-federal levees within the city limits are not and have never been the real issue. Indeed, there is significant disagreement and debate about whether or not these deficiencies actually exist or if they are merely a symptom of deficiencies on the Red River.

So, again, kudos to the six members of the Police Jury who voted to use federal funds to correct a federal problem. A small victory for common sense.

One thought

  1. Jindal allowed the drilling, Not Obama Where is the OCS FUNDS???

    The DOER Act

    The DOER Act would not repeal the current restrictions but would give coastal states that want offshore drilling the power to opt out of the restrictions. The bill makes permanent the moratorium on energy production within 50 miles of the coastline, unlessa state legislature explicitly votes to end the restrictions and allow drilling. The requirements are slightly different for drilling between 50 to 100 miles; states could also forbid it but would have to affirmatively pass legislation to that effect. Only beyond 100 miles would states have no authority to stop drilling. In effect, each coastal state could act to either allow or prohibit oil and gas production within 100 miles of its shore. By way of contrast, drilling beyond 20 miles cannot even be seen from the shore.

    As an inducement, states that allow coastal energy production would, for the first time, share in the revenues from OCS leases and royalties. These revenues have ranged from $4 to $8 billion in recent years and would increase once new areas are opened up. Companies pay up-front for leasing rights on offshore parcels and then ongoing percentage royalties once energy is being produced. Under the DOER Act, states that allow offshore drilling would eventually receive 75 percent of the royalties out to 12 miles and 50 percent beyond that.

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