DONALDSONVILLE – Ascension Parish government is seeking help from the federal level to improve its infrastructure woes believing they can receive some of $1 trillion in funding President Donald Trump said he will ask Congress to approve.
Industry is growing in the parish as well as the population and traffic and roads are lacking. And parish officials believe the commerce coming through Ascension should take priority in considerations where to to make improvements when federal government money is spend.
A total of seven of 11 parish council members and Parish President Kenny Matassa along with a few members of his staff visited Washington D.C. for the National Association of Counties conference during the Mardi Gras weekend and visited with congressmen through the holiday.
Their pitch on Capitol Hill was heard by federal agencies and congressmen or their aides including U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R- La., U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans and U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre. A recount of the trip was delivered at the latest parish council meeting where Council Chairman Bill Dawson said the parish should be priority if the Trump administration gets a new infrastucture bill.
The large contingent of parish officials also discussed concerns with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program regarding the August flood of 2016 that inundated many homes in the area. That included the process and timeline for recovery and obtainment of permits for future drainage projects that may prevent a similar situation.
A letter was also delivered to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by Matassa which is signed by he and four other parish presidents in support of three projects to prevent more flooding. They include the building of the Comite River Diversion Canal, dredging Bayou Manchac and including Ascension and St. James parishes in a protection levee.