BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome established a Stormwater Advisory Committee to provide community-based recommendations and create transparency for the stormwater utility.
“The Stormwater Advisory Committee is composed of community members, leaders, and stakeholders that will provide recommendations for a clear course of action with the stormwater utility,” said Broome. “The committee will advise and make recommendations on the East Baton Rouge stormwater management priorities and policies. This includes recommendations on immediate financial requirements, long-term funding, and public education.”
Metro Councilwoman Laurie Adams, of District 11, is one of 19 members that formed the Stormwater Advisory committee.
Initially, she felt “left in the dark” with the city’s handling of the stormwater fee and district. Now, Adams claims she might have some understanding of how to move forward.
“I think we’re always up to face our challenges,” said Adams. “I think we need to share as much information as we can.”
Co-founder of the Louisiana Stormwater Coalition, Jeff Kuehy, said the meeting was very educational for the committee members but needs more answers especially when it comes to funding.
“I think we need to learn more about the MS4 permits and the requirements, but I think the other thing we need to focus on here is maintaining that compliance and I think that’s where we failed in the past,” said Kuehy.
There are currently 90 projects estimated to be worth around $2.4 billion for the city. The committee advised the East Baton Rouge Stormwater on priorities and policies moving forward. This includes data on financial requirements, long-term funding, and public education. The committee mentioned how the state or federal government could potentially add a “new funding” source for instance a new tax.
The city-parish has a deadline to submit a complete stormwater management plan to the state regulators by the summer. The Mayor’s Office is asking the committee over the next couple of meetings to post recommendations for funding and the overall scope of work.
Stormwater Advisory Committee Members:
1. Laurie Adams – Metropolitan Council
2. Rowdy Gaudet – Metropolitan Council
3. Dwight Hudson – Metropolitan Council
4. Reverend S. C. Dixon – Faith-Based Community
5. Adam Knapp – Baton Rouge Area Chamber
6. Corey Wilson – BREC
7. Jeff Kuehny – Louisiana Stormwater Coalition
8. Larry Bankston – Growth Coalition
9. Karen Zito – Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge
10. Ed Lagucki – Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Civic Associations
11. TBA – LSU
12. Ken Dawson – Southern University
13. Corlin LeBlanc – Baton Rouge Community College
14. Monique Scott-Spalding – East Baton Rouge Parish School System
15. Gregory Bowser – Louisiana Chemical Association
16. Tim Hardy – At Large Community Member, appointed by Mayor
17. TBA – At Large Community Member, appointed by Metropolitan Council
18. Richard Speer – Non-Voting Committee Chair
19. Black & Veatch – Non-Voting Committee Facilitator
The stormwater committee meetings are scheduled for every fourth Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m. The next public meeting is scheduled for April 27 at City Hall.