At the March 27 City Council meeting, Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais and council members unanimously thanked and congratulated Maintenance and Transportation superintendant Larry Champagne and his workers for staying on top of the recent heavy rains and flooding. Their work resulted in minimal flooding problems in Broussard.
Champagne thanked the mayor and council members for their help in riding around during the storms to identify trouble areas.
Ivan Landry with the Festival du Bon Temps got an earful. Members of the maintenance department estimated that the city had already invested $8,000 in services for the festival, including placing approximately 30 signs requested by Police Chief Brannon Decou for traffic and safety reason, building a driveway into the festival and hauling barricades.
Maintenance workers expressed concern that the festival contacted them at the last minute to perform these services, while they were trying to clean up drainage problems after the recent heavy rains.
Several council members stated they were pleased to have the festival but were concerned about the city pumping money into a private interest. City attorney Don Landry clarified that these costs were not out of the ordinary and the city had an obligation to insure that events happen safely.
Mayor Charles Langlinais pointed out that the festival is receiving $2,500 per year for now through the Broussard Economic Development Authority, a separate entity from the city, but he emphasized that the festival was expected to be self-sufficient within the next five years.
He also requested that the festival give the city at least six months notice prior to the festival of any work that would be required of the city and the maintenance department.
City accountant Gene Chiariuli reported that the city collected $1.1 million in sales tax in February, but that the amount fell to $937,000 in March. He warned that the jump was only temporary due to an oilfield service company buying additional equipment.
Walter Comeaux, city engineer, reported that they are still awaiting the completion of repairs on the La. Highway 92 bridge to submit the drainage analysis to FEMA.
They are also still awaiting the new flood zone maps from FEMA which are complete but not yet released, although they were due to be released in February. The failure to release the maps is causing problems, due to the continued use of old maps, as well as not allowing correction of errors until the new maps are released. Once released, Broussard will submit the new information to FEMA, with the hopes of saving money on flood insurance for many citizens.
Architect David Bernard announced that the senior center building is back on track, and the final due date has been pushed back to June 11 due to the recent heavy rains. He stated that the building would soon be closed in and work left to be completed would be on the interior, so rain would not affect the completion of the center.
Chief Decou reported a fatality on La. Highway 182 right over the parish line.
He said that at a recent training session, he met with a vendor who troubleshoots false alarms. He explained that the service would be free to the city, and among other things, the vendor would draft the ordinance and perform all notifications and collections. The vendor’s fee would be 25 percent of fines. Lafayette has an entire staff that takes care of false alarms, he said.
The mayor expressed some concern about these types of vendors, but Decou shared his concern with the number of false alarms and the amount of department resources expended. The mayor and the council gave Decou permission to send information to the company for analysis. They also said they were interested in having statistics from the company on their work in other towns.