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|Corps says Cocodrie drainage study will cost $500,000|
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that a drainage feasibility study on Cocodrie Bayou could cost as much as $500,000, a figure Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington says is too high.
Ferrington said $100,000 would be fully funded federally and that the Jury would have to pay $200,000 of the remaining $400,000 cost.
"But we can't afford $200,000," said Ferrington.
The Jury has been exploring ways to improve drainage on Cocodrie for the past years, and has held meetings with federal and state authorities and with the public. The problem was heightened last year when 20 inches of rain fell during Hurricane Gustav, causing widespread flooding. That was followed by heavy rainfall last April, which also caused flooding.
Cocodrie became the only interior drainage outlet in Concordia after the construction of the ring levee which cut off drainage through Buckner Bayou, the Tensas River and other outlets in the northern end of the parish. Cocodrie was placed in the Natural and Scenic River Act in 1970 and put under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.
Ferrington said that in September Corps officials toured parts of Cocodrie and looked at the weirs on Cocodrie and on Wild Cow Bayou.
"Cocodrie has silt bars, log jams, bank sloughing and a narrow channel," said Ferrington. "We know what needs to be done and don't think a $500,000 feasibility study is the answer. But we'll have to work through it."
Meanwhile, Ferrington said "all of the paperwork has been filed" for construction of a new roof on the old courthouse. He said the cost of the work is $220,000.
"Everything is on go as far as we're concerned," he said. "We're waiting on the governor's office right now to complete their paperwork."
Funding for the project is coming through a $472,000-grant from the Louisiana Recovery Authority. The Jury will collect $250,000 of that total and the rest will go to the Town of Ferriday for construction of its water plant.
Work to upgrade the parish jail in the basement of the courthouse is also continuing.
Ferrington said the Jury has spent about $45,000 for the upgrades required by the State Fire Marshal.
"Once we complete all of this work we will be completely up to code and the Fire Marshal will be satisfied," said Ferrington.
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