Drainage study to be funded

Published 12:10 am Friday, February 18, 2011

VIDALIA — Federal and state officials have promised to fund a Concordia Parish drainage study, the first step to reporting a drainage system that flooded houses last year.

Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington and two committee members met with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Louisiana Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the governor’s office Feb. 10.

Ferrington said they spoke with the offices regarding funding for a preliminary drainage study, in which the federal and state agencies promised to find a way to fund the study at no cost to the parish.

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“We had a very good meeting with them,” he said. “This is not going to cost the parish anything.”

Ferrington said the study is required before any construction work can be done to help solve the parish’s drainage problems.

“If we can get the study funded and get the money for the construction, that would take a lot of pressure off of Cocodrie,” he said. “This would be a great asset as far as drainage goes.”

Ferrington said Bayou Cocodrie is the main place water drains in Concordia. The waterway is not doing a sufficient enough job of draining parish waters.

“We are hoping we can move the water more toward the north of the parish toward Tensas River and the other side of Lake St. John,” he said.

Ferrington said it will take several more meetings with FEMA before the parish can secure the funding for the study, but once it does get approved Concordia Parish will be on its way to better drainage.

“It is hard to ask for money if you don’t know how much you are asking for or what you are going to be doing with it,” he said.

“The study will help us figure out these two things, and once we figure that out, we can start applying for money for construction on the projects.”

Ferrington said the jury has been working on getting a drainage study done for several years now, and he is glad to finally have made some progress, especially progress at no cost to the parish.

Ferrington also said the newly formed drainage committee has been working hard to fix Concordia’s problem.

“We have had three meetings so far, and our committee is very responsive,” he said. “We have discussed the same things as I have with FEMA, and they were impressed by what they heard from our meeting.”