What will you do to invest in drainage infrastructure and develop policies and strategies for stormwater management in our district?

Jon Liprie
Jon Liprie
Candidate for Parish Council District 3

We hear conflicting solutions, each with an associated cost. Voices are amplified because this is election season. My strategy for storm water management is to listen to the experts, study the data and make the best decision I can. The leading solution appears to be improvements and repairs to the Teche-Vermilion Watershed. This is a large area requiring state and federal help as well.

Jeremy Hidalgo
Jeremy Hidalgo
Candidate for Parish Council District 3

Storm water management in the parish needs to be looked at in a regional manner. I will communicate with the Army Corps of Engineers, our local congressmen, experts in the field of hydrology and others who have vast knowledge about how to address our drainage needs. I plan on implementing holistic polices that will both prevent and mitigate flooding. I will immediately begin working with my fellow council members and staff to identify re-dedication opportunities and wasteful spending. We must prioritize and get back to basics. This is exactly what I was able to do as a School Board member, and I'll bring that same level of common sense to the Council.

Josh Carlson
Josh Carlson
Candidate for Parish Council District 3

As a member of the parish council, addressing our drainage needs will be my top priority. I will prioritize the maintenance of existing stormwater management systems as well as the creation of additional systems. I will also support the implementation of more stringent building standards and the oversight of those building standards.

Mike Davis
Mike Davis
Candidate for Parish Council District 3

Lafayette Parishโ€™s drainage problems will require a multi-level solution. Some of these solutions can be addressed in the short term as they were caused by lack of oversight by the city in two ways: First, Lafayette engineers approving developments without performing proper impact reports intended to accurately depict how proposed developments affect their surrounding areas, which causes underdevelopment of drainage infrastructure causing flooding in existing neighborhoods located near new developments. Second, Public Works having one crew dedicated to drainage who have filtered out their higher-paid and experienced workers in favor of hiring crew members with substantially less experience for less pay in an effort to save money. This practice results in subpar work quality, such as culverts not dug out to proper grades that results in non-ideal stormwater flow characteristics, ditches that are uneven and result in standing water, etc. As such, I strongly believe that overhauling the Lafayette Public Works Department will remedy our backlogged drainage maintenance problems because as it currently stands our Public Works Department has approximately two yearsโ€™ worth of open tickets to address, and I cannot allow this situation to persist. The first thing I will do in office is enact more oversight policies to ensure Lafayette engineers and Public Works crews perform their due diligence in ensuring the job is done right the first time. As far as developing strategies are concerned, there are two primary strategies assuming that our Public Works Department is successfully keeping our drainage ditches clear: increasing the number of both detention and retention ponds Lafayette has parish-wide and dredging the Vermilion. Regarding detention and retention ponds, while canvassing around Broussard and Youngsville I saw first-hand empty lots in neighborhoods that have flooded that could and should be purchased by the city or parish utilizing federal funding and converted into either detention or retention ponds depending on the area, as this much-needed water storage capacity could have made the difference between a home flooding in 2016 and not flooding. Regarding dredging the Vermilion, this is something that Must. Be. Done. We do not need a study to confirm if the Vermilion should be dredged, as the number of times the Vermilion has reached flood-stage in the last year is proof enough. My vision for the Vermilion is as follows: I would like to vastly expand the capabilities of the Bayou Vermilion District and have it become the Bayou Vermilion River Authority by the Louisiana Legislature, giving a board complete control over the river that flows through St. Landry Parish, Lafayette Parish, and Vermilion Parish out into Vermilion Bay. Congress would grant Congressional Approval to the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Vermilion River, then this Bayou Vermilion River Authority would obtain a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers allowing the Bayou Vermilion River Authority to dredge the river themselves, effectively giving Lafayette control over its portion of the Vermilion River. This way, Lafayette can clean up the river using federal money, which would create jobs related to cleaning and maintaining the river, and allow for the Vermilion to become an economic force for the city of Lafayette by means of increased river traffic and even possibly a Lafayette River Walk.