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State Senate Approves St. Tammany Levee District Bill PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, April 15 2014 - 12:00 am


By: Robert Rhoden, | The Times-Picayune

The state Senate has approved a bill that would create the St. Tammany Levee, Drainage and Conservation District and establish the parish as a separate levee district taxing authority. The bill by Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Covington, was approved 37-0 without discussion Monday afternoon.

The bill will now move on to the House of Representatives.

With the creation of the levee district, St. Tammany would withdraw from the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.

Parish President Pat Brister has said it's in the parish's best interest to have its own levee district and decide what projects need to be done to protect the parish. She has complained that of the $14.5 billion spent on levee and drainage projects by the federal government in the New Orleans area since 2005, none of the money was spent on north shore projects.

Brister acknowledges that the parish has not contributed money to the Southeast Louisiana Flood authority and the regional flood control efforts.

A St. Tammany Levee District exists on paper, but it has never been activated or funded.

Under the bill, the new levee district would have authority to issue bonds and levy taxes. A sales tax of up to 1 cent could be levied if approved by voters. The tax would not be subject to the combined rate limitation established in the state Constitution.

The district would be governed by a nine-member commission appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. At least four of the members must live in the unincorporated area of St. Tammany, Donahue said.