Just how much would you pay in hopes you can prevent a repeat of the 2016 flooding?
It’s a question many residents in Livingston Parish could face if two drainage districts seek funding for projects this fall.
Parish councilmen who represent Gravity Drainage districts 6 and 7 in coming weeks plan to ask the full council to approve resolutions which would put the proposals on a ballot in November.
Both districts plan to use the money from the millages – and sales tax revenue, in the case with District 6 – to fund drainage projects and maintenance.
The amount of revenue – $300,000 in the case of District 6 and $880,000 for District 7 – seem paltry in terms of the amount of money needed for projects. But they would enable these bodies to ante up the matching funds necessary to receive state or federal grant money for projects.
It would also bring Livingston Parish much closer to a longtime goal of parishwide drainage, a necessary component for a growing area.
Voter approval, however, will mark the toughest part of the equation.
No tax is immune from voter rejection in Livingston Parish or anywhere else in Louisiana.
Some voters believe they pay enough each year and cannot afford any additional burden. Others see the word “tax” and immediately oppose it.
Drainage district deserve special consideration, however. It’s a program which benefits every resident in a district.
The flood events last year brought the need for drainage improvements back to the forefront. It may have not made a huge difference in the August flood, but the March event and some of the heavy afternoon storms might not have been nearly as burdensome if a drainage system was in place.
In nearly every case, the cost of the annual tax would pale in comparison to the amount property owners fork out on insurance deductibles and/or the replacement of household belongings they lost in a flood.
Property owners should give strong consideration to the millage proposals if they go up for a vote in November.
It could make life much easier in most future flood events.