Caddo Levee District

Ali  M. Mustapha P.E., Administrator

November 08, 2018

Shreveport, Louisiana

 

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF

CADDO LEVEE DISTRICT

AT REGULAR MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 8, 2018

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At a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District held at 10:00 a.m., November 8, 2018, at 1320 Grimmett Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana, the following members were present: James T. Sims, Patrick Harrison, Carolyn C. Prator, Kandi Moore, Gary Procell, Helen Godfrey-Smith, and Willie Walker.

 

Neal Lewis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Vicksburg District; Spencer Touchstone, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Vicksburg District; Jeff Johnson, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries; Seth Miller, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries; Marshall Jones, Jones & Odom LLP; Robert Tomasek, LA Department of Transportation and Development; Dale Higdon, LA Department of Transportation and Development; Ali M. Mustapha, Administrator; Sam Brimer, Forester; and Danielle Stafford, Assistant Secretary, were also present.

 

The meeting was opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

President Sims asked for any comments from the public regarding agenda items or other issues. There were no public comments.

 

Mr. Sims stated that the minutes from the October 2018 meeting had been emailed for review and asked for a motion to approve. Mrs. Moore made a motion, with a second by Mr. Procell, to approve the minutes from the October 2018 meeting. The motion unanimously passed.

 

Mr. Harrison discussed the monthly financial reports, reporting that operating expenses were in line with monthly averages for this time of year. He reported that capital outlay expenses were high due to ongoing projects.

 

The Board reviewed payments and invoices for the month of October 2018 and subsequent bills for the month of September 2018. Mr. Harrison made a motion, with a second by Mrs. Moore, to ratify payment of the invoices for the month of October 2018 and subsequent bills for the month of September 2018. The motion unanimously passed.

 

Mr. Neal Lewis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Vicksburg District, appeared on behalf of Colonel Michael C. Derosier, District Commander, to present a Certificate of Merit plaque for the Operation and Maintenance of flood control projects for the year 2017 to the Board. Mr. Lewis commended the Caddo Levee Board for the superior management of resources in the operation and maintenance of the District’s levee projects. He also thanked the Board for fully exemplifying the Corps values of safety, integrity, and respect by continuing to actively support the flood damage reduction mission and sustain the public trust.

 

Mr. Jeff Johnson, Wildlife Management Area Biologist Supervisor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, presented to the Board the Annual Report of the Soda Lake Wildlife Management Area. Mr. Johnson thanked the Board for their continued partnership and support of the Soda Lake Wildlife Management Area.

 

The Board unanimously approved the following resolution, with a motion by Mr. Procell and a second by Mr. Walker, to accept the completion of the Crushed Aggregates for Surfacing a Section of Red River Levee South from Un-named Road @ 10281 LA 1 to Buckner Road Project:

             WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District’s Administrator Ali M. Mustapha, P.E., has advised that the project under contract with Dalton Construction, LLC, entitled “Crushed Aggregates for Surfacing a Section of Red River Levee South from Un-named Road @ 10281 LA 1 to Buckner Road” in Caddo Parish, is completed in accordance with plans and specifications,

 

             WHEREAS, the Administrator of the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District conducted a final inspection of the Project on September 12, 2018 and determined that the Project has been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications and is satisfactory,

 

             NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District, in legal session convened, that this project is hereby accepted upon the advice and recommendation of its advisors.

 

The Board considered requests to advertise for bid for grazing leases. Mr. Harrison made a motion, with a second by Mrs. Smith, to approve the request of Randy Garsee to advertise for bid for grazing purposes approximately 100 acres in the NW/4 of Section 14, T21N, R16W in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. The motion unanimously passed. Mr. Harrison made a motion, with a second by Mrs. Smith, to approve the request of Billie Hindsman to advertise for bid for grazing purposes approximately 25 acres in Section 13, T22N, R16W in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. The motion unanimously passed. Bids for these grazing leases will be opened in December.

 

The Board unanimously approved the renewal of the following surface leases with a motion by Mr. Walker and a second by Mr. Procell: Rebecca Ash, Helen Babb, Ralph Justin Burton, Gary Byargeon, Vera Craft, Charles Fink, Albert Goss, Tony Hale, Rondy Hartline, Jason R. Jetton, Jeffrey Johnson, Mary May, Ronald Owens, Stephen C. Tucker, and Gary L. Wolfe.

 

The Board unanimously passed the following resolution to approve the professional services contract for Ronald F. Lattier of the Law Offices of Ronald F. Latte for December 1, 2018 through November 30, 2019, with a motion by Mrs. Smith and a second by Mr. Harrison:

 

             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, 2018 and ending November 30, 2019, 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 $175.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of ten years or more in the practice of law.

 

2.      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.

 

3)     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:   7                      

             NAYS:   0                                   

             ABSENT:   0                 

             NOT VOTING:   0       

 

The Board unanimously approved the following resolution to approve the professional services contract of Marshall Jones of Jones & Odom, LLP for December 1, 2018 through November 30, 2019, with a motion by Mrs. Smith 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 Jones & Odom, L.L.P. be retained as Special Counsel for one year beginning December 1, 2018 and ending November 30, 2019, 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 $175.00 per hour for attorneys having experience of ten years or more in the practice of law.

 

2)    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 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 of Justice dated January 14, 2008.

 

3)    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 & Odom, 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:   7                      

             NAYS:   0                      

             ABSENT:   0                 

             NOT VOTING:   0       

 

 

Marshall Jones had no report but thanked the Board for the continued opportunity to serve the Board of Commissioners as their Oil & Gas Attorney.

 

President Sims thanked Mr. Neal Lewis for the recognition of the work done by the District in 2017. President Sims had no further report.

 

Mr. Mustapha reported that the full authorization of the Cherokee Park Levee was not included in the Senate or Congress versions of the WRDA Bill. Mr. Mustapha stated that he submitted a Proposal for Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development application as a Plan B. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will review the application, and, if approved, the Cherokee Park request will be included in the 2019 Section 7001 Report which is submitted to Congress each year for WRDA Bill consideration. 

 

Mr. Mustapha reported that due to the rainy weather we have been experiencing, grass cutting has continued even later into the year than normal. Because of this, the cleaning of ditches was not able to be completed this year. He also reported that the Red River Levee South Maintenance Project has been completed and will most likely be accepted as complete at the December meeting. He provided a written report that detailed the status and progress of all ongoing projects and the status of all open permits.

 

             Ronald Lattier, Board Legal Counsel, was not present due to a mandatory meeting by the Department of Justice in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mr. Lattier provided a written report stating that there are no legal issues pending and all is well with the District.

 

             Sam Brimer, Forester, reported that he has been working on road maintenance projects as well as preparing timber tracts for planting. He also reported that he has continued his efforts to trap feral hogs on the District’s properties.

 

There was no Engineer’s Report.

 

There was no Personnel Committee Report.

 

There was no Legal Committee Report.

 

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

 

 

 

President                                                                                                     Administrator-Secretary

Minutes - November 08, 2018

 

Minutes

 

Agenda

 

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