Terrebonne Parish Notes Progress On Levee System

HOUMA, LA (AP) — Terrebonne Parish officials praised the progress being made on the Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee system.

         Councilman John Navy says it's important that the public knows why they're continuing to fight for money from our state and federal delegation to continue the Morganza-to-the-Gulf project.

         In the last few years, Navy says the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, has overseen about $300 million in hurricane protection projects completed or under construction using local and state money.

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         The Courier’s Chris Leblanc reports the state budget includes roughly $17 million in flood and hurricane mitigation money for a Houma Navigation Canal lock complex, which will tie into the Morganza system that's designed to protect Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.

         Levee district officials and council members were quick to credit local taxpayers who agreed to pay for much of the project.

         "There's nothing in particular that any one of us have done. It's a big effort by everybody and especially Terrebonne Parish," said Levee District Board President Anthony Alford. "What has brought us all together has been the tax that the parish has put on themselves."

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         In 2001 Terrebonne voters passed a quarter-cent sales tax to be routed to Morganza and other storm-protection projects. In 2012, voters approved an additional half-cent sales tax to be used exclusively for Morganza.

         "It wasn't hard to go out there and fight for a half-cent sales tax," Councilman Dirk Guidry said. "Without the trust of the citizens in the levee district, this tax would have never passed. They've gone down there and they've seen what y'all are doing and what y'all are producing."

         The two taxes generate roughly $18 million annually.

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