wesely kinnebrew

Wesley Kinnebrew, manager of Gravity Drainage District 1, explains to the Denham Springs City Council that a four-man crew will be helping clear the major ditches and canals in the city under an agreement with the city.

DENHAM SPRINGS – Gravity Drainage District 1 and the City of Denham Springs have reached a deal to help both with drainage issues.

The Denham Springs City Council approved a 10-year cooperative endeavor agreement between the city and Gravity Drainage District 1 on Tuesday, March 12.

After 10 years, it will be renewed on a yearly basis.

Mayor Gerard Landry called the drainage district “a great partner, who has assisted us with larger ditches and canals.”

Gravity Drainage District 1’s area includes the City of Denham Springs, which creates a crucial link between the city’s system of ditches and canals and the district’s canals and streams south of the city.

According to the agreement, Denham Springs will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining ditches along roadsides, culvert ditches and other types of subsurface drainage. Gravity Drainage District 1 will help the city with cleaning and maintaining open ditches within the city.

“We will take over the larger ditches and canals,” said Wesley Kinnebrew, manager of Gravity Drainage District 1.

“If it’s in your front yard, we got it. If it’s your backyard, they got it,” Landry said.

A four-man crew from the drainage district will work Monday through Thursday inside the city limits, Kinnebrew said.

“They will start in the north of the city and they’re going to work the whole city, make a circle, and when done, they’re going to start all over,” Kinnebrew said.

“Our goal is to try to do it at least three times a year. If there is a major problem which will cause an emergency, we will step off and go to it,” he said.

“We will report to the mayor once a month,” on the work done, Kinnebrew said.

The manager said his crew won’t wait to tell mayor before they clear a culvert if it’s an emergency.

“If called about a blocked culvert, they might clear it (first) then tell the mayor,” he said.

Clearing a blocked ditch or culvert turns up the strangest things, Kinnebrew said, including baseballs, basketballs and toys.

The Great Flood of 2016 pushed the issue of drainage to the front of any list of problems in Livingston Parish.  

“Anxiety is high since the flood,” Kinnebrew said.

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