Caddo Levee District

 

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF

CADDO LEVEE DISTRICT

AT REGULAR MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 10, 2021

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 At a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District held at 10:15 a.m., November 10, 2021, at 1320 Grimmett Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana, the following members were present: Patrick Harrison, Jackie Baker, James T. Sims, Willie Walker, and Gary Procell. Kandi Moore and Carolyn C. Prator were unable to attend.

 

Ronald F. Lattier, Law Offices of Ronald F. Lattier; German Velazquez, LA. Department of Transportation and Development; 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.

 

President Harrison stated that the minutes from the October 14, 2021 meeting had been emailed for review and asked for a motion to approve. Mr. Sims made a motion, with a second by Mr. Baker, to approve the minutes from the October 2021 meeting. The motion unanimously passed.

 

President Harrison discussed the monthly financial reports, and he reported that operating expenses were in line with monthly averages for this time of year.

 

The Board reviewed payments and invoices for the month of October 2021 and subsequent bills for the month of September 2021. Mr. Procell made a motion, with a second by Mr. Walker, to ratify payment of the invoices for the month of October 2021 and subsequent bills for the month of September 2021. The motion unanimously passed.

 

The Board unanimously approved the next regular meeting to be rescheduled for Thursday, December 16th, 2021 due to the majority of the Board will be attending the ALBL Conference in New Orleans, LA on December 9th.  

 

The Board unanimously approved the request from Randy Garsee to advertise for bid for grazing purposes: Tract #1 - Approximately 100 acres located in the NW/4 of Section 14, T21N, R16W with a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mr. Procell.

 

The Board unanimously approved the request from Billie Hindsman to advertise for bid for grazing purposes: Tract #2 - Approximately 25 acres being all of that portion of S/2 of the NE/4 of Section 13, T22N, R16W, located out of the water of Black Bayou with a motion by Mr. Procell and a second by Mr. Sims.

 

The Board unanimously approved the request from D. B. Melder to advertise for bid for grazing purposes: Tract #3 - Approximately 80 acres located in NE/2 of the NE/2 of Section 1, T22N, R15W.with a motion by Mr. Procell and a second by Mr. Sims.

 

The Board unanimously approved the renewal of the following campsite permits: Charles Fink, Rondy Hartline, Lawrence Hawks, Peggy Livingood, Thomas Todd, Stephen C. Tucker, Bobby Walton with a motion by Mr. Procell and a second by Mr. Sims.

The Board considered the renewal of contracts for professional/legal services for Ronald F. Lattier and J. Marshall Jones, Jr. The Board unanimously approved the following resolution to approve the professional legal services contract for Mr. Ronald F. Lattier of The Law Offices of Ronald F. Lattier for December 1, 2021 through November 30, 2022, with a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mr. Walker:

 

 

             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 The Law Offices of Ronald F. Lattier be retained as Special Counsel for one year beginning December 1, 2021 and ending November 30, 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:

 

A fee of $175.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of ten years or more in the practice of law.

 

A fee of $150.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of five to ten years in the practice of law, $125.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of three to five years in the practice of law, $100.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of less than three years in the practice of law, $45.00 per hour for paralegal services, and $25.00 per hour for law clerk services, as specified in the Maximum Hourly Fee Schedule of the Department of Justice dated January 14, 2008.

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing fee schedule, State will pay a fee of $100 per hour for all approved non-local (more than 30 miles one way) automobile travel by attorneys.

            

             WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District, pursuant to La. R.S. 42.262, does hereby retain and employ The Law Offices of Ronald F. Lattier 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:

 

             YEAS:                            5

             NAYS:                            0

             ABSENT:                       2

             NOT VOTING:              0

 

 

 

The Board unanimously approved the following resolution to approve the professional legal services contract for J. Marshall Jones, Jr. of Jones & Odom, LLP for December 1, 2021 through November 30, 2022, with a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mr. Walker:

            

 

             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 Jones & Odom, L.L.P. be retained as Special Counsel for one year beginning December 1, 2021 and ending November 30, 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:

 

A fee of $175.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of ten years or more in the practice of law.

 

A fee of $150.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of five to ten years in the practice of law, $125.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of three to five years in the practice of law, $100.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of less than three years in the practice of law, $45.00 per hour for paralegal services, and $25.00 per hour for law clerk services, as specified in the Maximum Hourly Fee Schedule of the Department of Justice dated January 14, 2008.

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing fee schedule, State will pay a fee of $100 per hour for all approved non-local (more than 30 miles one way) automobile travel by attorneys.

 

 

             WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District, pursuant to La. R.S. 42.262, does hereby retain and employ Jones & Odon, L.L.P. 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:

 

             YEAS:                             5          

             NAYS:                            0                       

             ABSENT:                       2          

             NOT VOTING:              0

 

 

There was no Oil & Gas Report.

 

President Harrison reported that he and four (4) Board Commissioners will be attending the Association of Levee Board of Louisiana Annual Meeting on December 7-9 in New Orleans.

 

Mr. Mustapha reported a Professional Land Surveyor has been retained to provide topographic surveys for the site of the slide at Black Bayou – Pine Island Levee and the Shiftail Canal outlet structures. These surveys are needed to prepare design plans and specifications for the required repairs at both locations. We anticipate to bid these projects in the summer of 2022.

 

Mr. Mustapha reported that the design of the new pump station at West Agurs Levee is progressing well, and he has been working with the design team to ensure the design will be completed by early summer next year. Also, he reported that the Structural Engineer working on the project has requested one additional soil boring for use to design the deep footings and we have contracted with Terracon to perform this service.

 

Mr. Mustapha reported that he has been negotiating with the City’s Engineering Department the needed repairs to the surface of West Agurs Levee that resulted from the work done by the City’s Contractor during the repairs of a slide caused by the City’s sewer main crossing. 

 

Mr. Mustapha provided a written report that detailed the status and progress of all ongoing projects and open permits. Seven (7) permit requests were received in October and a total of (36) permit requests have been received in 2021.

 

             Ronald Lattier, Board Legal Counsel expressed his gratitude to the Board for renewing his legal contract and reported that the Caddo Levee District had no pending legal issues.

 

Sam Brimer, Forester, was not present. Mr. Mustapha reported that Mr. Brimer has completed yearly maintenance to fire lanes and access roads on Caddo Levee District properties and currently working on trapping hogs that continue to cause damage to the levees in South Caddo.

 

There was no Personnel Committee Report.

 

There was no Legal Committee Report.

 

There was no Equipment Committee Report.

 

There was no Recreation Committee Report, but Mr. Mustapha asked German Velazquez with LA. Department of Transportation and Development, to provide an update on the status of the request for use of a site located on the westside of LA HWY 1, south of Black Bayou Bridge, for a future boat launch to access the Bayou at the next board meeting.

 

With no further business to be brought before the Board, Mr. Walker made a motion to adjourn, with a second by Mr. Sims. The motion unanimously passed, and the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

President                                                                                                 Executive Director

 

 

 

 

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