Before West Jefferson and Algiers residents head to the polls Nov. 21 to vote on taxes for flood protection, West Bank levee authority officials are trying to educate the public about the millages at public meetings. West Jefferson residents are being asked for a $5.5 million tax increase. Algiers residents will consider a 6.35-mill renewal.
If approved, the taxes would be assessed for 30 years.
Confronted with $34 million in expenses, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West says the taxes are necessary to maintain an extensive system that didn’t exist before Hurricane Katrina. The authority, which has oversight of 80 miles of levees, floodwalls, floodgates and the world’s largest drainage pump station, faces federal re-certification in 2023.
The meetings are:
Thursday, 7 p.m., West Jefferson Medical Center Auditorium. Sponsored by the Jefferson Voters Federation.
Nov. 7, 10 a.m., Algiers Regional Library, Holiday Drive.
Nov. 9, 6 p.m. Westwego City Council meeting.
Nov. 14, 9 a.m., West Bank Regional Library, Harvey.
Meanwhile, the flood authority will hold its final public tours of the world’s largest drainage pump station Thursday (Nov. 12) at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. The West Closure Complex is located at 500 East Bayou Road, Belle Chasse.
The $1.1 billion structure, built at the confluence of the Harvey and Algiers canals, is designed to block storm surge from flooding most of the West Bank. The levee authority assumed oversight of the facility a year ago.
If West Jefferson residents approve the additional millage, they would be assessed a total of 10.53 mills. The owner of a $175,000 house, with homestead exemption, would pay $105 annually.
In Algiers, voters will consider a 6.35-mill tax renewal that brings in $1.2 million a year. That tax would cost the owner of a home, with exemption, $63.50 a year.
Early voting begins Saturday (Nov. 7). For more information, visit slfpaw.org.