Youngsville partnering with private landowners to build retention ponds

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YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) — For years drainage has been the top concern in Youngsville. The solution to diverting the stormwater has been constructing retention ponds along coulees, but now the city is partnering with private landowners to build even more.

“With drainage, we’re all in it together,” Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter stressed.

When historic flooding ravaged Youngsville in 2016, people who lived there cried never again, but water has to go somewhere which is why Mayor Ken Ritter has been looking for solutions 365 days a year.

“This has been the number one responsibility,” Ritter told News 10. “This consumes probably the majority of my time if I were to categorize it, but this is where the focus should be.”

This week, Ritter announced two public/private drainage partnerships. Louis Anzalone Companies donated 15 acres of floodway land for a new retention pond. Louisiana Gynastic Club owner Darren Reavis is letting the city dig another retention pond on his business’s property.

“The whole back half of our property is floodway that we can’t do anything with,” Reavis explained. “Some of the property we could possibly build on later, so if we did do that, we would have to dig a pond ourselves.”

The 1.5-acre pond on Reavis’ land should store a million and a half gallons when finished. Weather permitting, it will take two months to complete with additional time to connect pipes to a neighborhood.

Thanks to Anzalone Companies’ donation, the City of Youngsvillewill construct a detention pond capable of storing approximately 5 million gallons of water to alleviate pressure off of the Anslem Coulee during high-intensity rain events.

Youngsville has previously announced the acceptance of $10 Million in federal grants for multiple regional stormwater ponds on the Lasalle and Bayou Parc Perdu Coulees totaling nearly 80 acres in Youngsville.

Ritter says constructing the retention ponds through public/private partnerships is far faster than a federal grant project because there is less red tape.

“That’s why we’re trying to balance it with some quick win projects like this with the help of great property owner couple with the federal grants that we have received,” Ritter added. “We are in it all together and collectively we are making a difference in drainage.”

Mayor Ritter says if you do have land on a floodway, then reach out to his office, he’d love to work with you to help build another retention pond to keep widespread floods from impacting Youngsville again.

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