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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF
CADDO LEVEE DISTRICT
AT REGULAR MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 10, 2022
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At a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District held at 10:00 a.m., February 10, 2022 at 1320 Grimmett Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana, the following were present: Patrick Harrison, Kandi Moore, James T. Sims, Jackie Baker, Carolyn C. Prator, Willie Walker, and Gary Procell.
Ronald F. Lattier, Law Offices of Ronald F. Lattier; Marshall Jones, Jones & Odom, LLP; Ronnie Festervan, Mayor of Vivian and President of Black Bayou Watershed District; Robert Tomasek, LA Department of Transportation and Development; German Velazquez, LA Department of Transportation and Development; John Barr, Regional Director Senator John Kennedyís Office; Ali M. Mustapha, Executive Director; Penny Adams, Assistant Executive Director; and Lynda Jones, Administrative Assistant were also present.
The meeting was opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Harrison asked for any comments from the public regarding agenda items or other issues. There were no public comments.
Ronnie Festervan, Mayor of Vivian and the President of Black Bayou Watershed District (BBWD) in North Caddo Parish shared with the Board of the Commissioners the purpose and function of the District which includes maintenance of the Black Bayou Lake located within the Districtís boundaries the conservation of soil and water, the development of natural resources for agricultural and recreation purposes. Mr. Festervan presented a map that shows the Districtís boundaries and a copy of the Louisiana Act of 1966 which created the District. Also, he explained to the Board that the District works closely with the Caddo Parish Commission on funding and maintenance of projects located within the District including two (2) parks that are located on the Levee Districtís property leased to Caddo Parish Commission. Mr. Festervan thanked the Commission for giving him the opportunity to speak to the Board and expressed the BBWDís Board desire to partner with Caddo Levee District and Caddo Parish Commission on future flood control and public recreation projects in the area.
President Harrison stated that the minutes from the January 13, 2022 meeting had been emailed for review and asked for a motion to approve. Mr. Sims made a motion, with a second by Mr. Walker, to approve the minutes from the January 2022 meeting. The motion unanimously passed.
Kandi Moore discussed the monthly financial reports. She reported that the operating expenses were low and are consistent with monthly averages. Also, she reported that the monthly revenues continue to improve. She commended the Executive Director for efficient management of the Districtís Financial Resources.
The Board reviewed payments and invoices for the month of January 2022 and subsequent bills for the month of December 2021. Mr. Procell made a motion, with a second by Mr. Sims, to ratify payment of the invoices for the month of January 2022 and subsequent bills for the month of December 2021. The motion unanimously passed.
The Board unanimously approved the payment of 2022 dues for the National Waterways Conference in the amount of $1,525.00 with a motion by Mrs. Moore and a second by Mr. Walker.
The Board unanimously approved the attendance of the Executive Director, and Commissioners at the 97th Annual Convention of the Red River Waterway Association to be held on February 23rd-24th 2022, at the Shreveport Convention Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, with a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mr. Walker.
The Board unanimously approved the payment of the sponsorship of the Red River Valley Association 97th Annual Convention in the amount of $1,000.00 with a motion by Mrs. Moore and a second by Mr. Walker.
†††††††††††† The Board considered the special professional legal services contract for Bradley Murchison Kelly and Shea, LLC. The Board unanimously approved the following resolution to approve the special professional legal services contract for Bradley Murchison Kelley & Shea LLC for February 10, 2022 through December 31, 2022, with a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mrs. Moore:
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District is presently engaged in extensive and continuing operations in conjunction with various State, Parish, City and Federal Agencies relating to drainage and flood control programs in Caddo Parish, Louisiana; and,
WHEREAS, the Caddo Levee District is financially involved in numerous legal matters arising out of these operations and required legal advice and assistance during regular and special meetings and at various other times regarding these matters; and,
WHEREAS, abstracts of title to lands either belonging to the Caddo Levee District or involved in its projects, from time-to-time need examining; and,
WHEREAS, it is anticipated that said Board will be occasionally involved in lawsuits and the resolution of these suits require special legal counsel; and,
WHEREAS, the District Attorney of Caddo Parish, the Board's legally designated counsel, is involved in extensive prosecution of criminal matters in Caddo Parish, and does not have a sufficiently large staff to adequately handle the legal affairs of the Board; and,
WHEREAS, by the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District that in view of the real and urgent necessity of present and future special legal counsel, that Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea, LLC, be retained as Special Counsel for the period beginning February 10, 2022 and ending December 31, 2022, at a stipulated fee in accordance with professional service contract submitted herewith, subject, however, to the approval of the proper officials of the State of Louisiana, at a rate as follows:
1)††††††††† A fee of $225.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of ten years or more in the practice of law.
2)††††††††† A fee of $175.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of five to ten years in the practice of law, $150.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of three to five years in the practice of law, $125.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of less than three years in the practice of law, $60.00 per hour for paralegal services, and $40.00 per hour for law clerk services, as specified in the Maximum Hourly Fee Schedule of the Department of Justice dated February 10, 2016.
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District, pursuant to La. R.S. 42.262, does hereby retain and employ Bradley Kelly Murchison & Shea, LLC, as special counsel; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the President or Vice President of the Board is especially authorized to enter into, on behalf of the Board, the said Professional Service Contract submitted herewith.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Resolution and proposed contract described herein be submitted to the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana for approval.
The resolution having been submitted to a vote; the vote thereon was as follows:
NOT VOTING: 0
The Board unanimously approved the transfer of Campsite Permit from Bobbie Johnson to Deanna Ghormley for approximately one (1) acre known as Lot# 88 located at 10185 Trees City Road, Vivian LA., in Section 15, T21N, R16W, NE Corner of NW/4 of SE/4, Caddo Parish, Louisiana with a motion by Mrs. Prator and a second by Mr. Procell.
The Board unanimously approved the renewal of the following campsite permits: Ronald Bushong and Michael Stevens with a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mr. Baker.
††††††††††† Marshall Jones reported that commodity price of crude oil has risen in the last few weeks and is expected to continue to rise in 2022 and this will provide additional royalty revenues for District operation.† He also stated that the natural gas price is expected to continue to increase due to high demand.
††††††††††† There was no President Report.
††††††††††† Mr. Mustapha reported that the Association of the Levee Board of Louisiana (ALBL) will be holding an in-person Executive Committee Meeting on Friday, February 11th in Baton Rouge. The meeting is to discuss and plan the Agenda for the Annual Workshop Conference which will be at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge on May 5th-6th, 2022.
††††††††††† Mr. Mustapha reported that all equipment which has been retired and not operational was declared surplus and delivered to Lawler Auction Company for sale on Friday, February 4, 2022. The equipment included four (4) bush hogs, chainsaws, weed-eaters, office copier and printer, hay blower, and a chemical tank. Also, he reported that delivery of the two (2) new tractors is scheduled for this coming May or June.
††††††††††† Also, Mr. Mustapha reported that the USACE acquired additional properties from Franks Management for the purpose of mitigating the Red River Waterway Project environmental impact. The property is located along Twelve Mile Bayou Levee between I-49 and LA-71. The property will be used as a Wildlife Management Area for recreation and will be operated and maintained by Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries.
††††††††††† Mr. Mustapha provided an update on the status of the design of the new pump station at West Agurs. He reported that design is approximately 90% complete and CSRS will be submitting plans and specifications for review by the end of February or early March. The plans and specifications will have to be reviewed and approved by the Vicksburg Office of the USACE and all permits will have to be secured prior to bidding the project in the early summer.
Mr. Mustapha provided a written report that detailed the status and progress of all ongoing projects and open permits. No permit requests were received during January 2022.
†††††††††††† There was no Legal Counsel Report.
Mr. Mustapha reported that the Forester, Sam Brimer, is currently working on trapping wild hogs which are causing significant damage to the Red River Levee South at the Caddo-Bossier Port near behind Benteler Plant.
Robert Tomasek reported that he attended the Black Bayou Watershed District Quarterly Meeting and invited Mr. Festervan to attend Caddo Levee Districtís Board Meeting and share with the Board the mission and activities of the BBWD. Mr. Tomasek also thanked the Board for approving his attendance in February to the 97th Annual Convention of the Red River Valley Association.
There was no Personnel Committee Report.
There was no Legal Committee Report.
There was no Equipment Committee Report.
There was no Recreation Committee Report.
With no further business to be brought before the Board, Mrs. Moore made a motion to adjourn, with a second by Mr. Sims. The motion unanimously passed, and the meeting was adjourned.
President††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††† Executive Director
Minutes - February