Council approves installing culverts in public ditches

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2003

By LEONARD GRAY-Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – Installing culverts will likely become more widespread in St. Charles Parish, following action by the parish council at their May 5 meeting.

The ordinance approved 7-2 and sponsored by Councilmen Clayton Faucheux and Brian Fabre allows landowners to have the parish install culverts in the public drainage ditches.

The parish’s involvement also includes issuing the culvert permit, shooting the grade for the drainage and advising the landowners as to the quality and required size of the culvert.

The landowner would pay for the culvert itself, but no longer have to hire a contractor to install the culvert, provide clean out boxes and place fill to cover it. All the work done would follow parish regulations and under parish supervision.

The culvert fees include $27.50 for driveways and $62.50 for commercial and business sites.

Councilman Terry Authement specified in an amendment that installed culverts must meet parish specifications.

However, Authement warned, “Don’t kid yourself – there will be a lot of applications,” as the parish moves more in the direction of subsurface drainage, rather than open ditches.

“I hope there are a thousand applications,” replied Faucheux, and added, “It will save the parish money in the long run.”

Parish President Albert Laque also commented the permits will not be issued where local subdivision covenants call for open ditches.

Council chairman Lance Marino observed that less open ditches means less breeding-grounds for mosquitoes.

Voting against the action were council members “Ram” Ramchandran and Dee Abadie, both of whom thought it would be an extra burden on the Department of Public Works.

Public Works Director Greg Bush said he has had a crew assigned for two years to this task, and that it takes 15-20 minutes to shoot the grade and 90 minutes to three hours to do the installation.