The top brass in Lafayette Consolidated Government and Lafayette Utilities System put aside their political grievances Wednesday as then-Hurricane Isaac began to antagonize the area with wind and rain and helped the city of Broussard when it found itself in a pinch.
Broussard’s water plant supervisor contacted LUS at about 5 p.m. Wednesday to report that Broussard’s back-up generator for its water plant had gone down; earlier that day, around 10 a.m., the Entergy power supply for the plant had malfunctioned and Broussard was relying on its back-up generator to keep water pressure up.
According to LUS Director Terry Huval, had Broussard’s water pressure fallen to a low-enough level the city likely would have had to issue a boil advisory — if Broussard residents had any water at all. Broussard asked LUS for permission to open an inter-tie valve to release more LUS water into the Broussard system. LUS complied and sent an employee to supervise the opening of the valve. Entergy’s power supply to the plant was back up around 10:30 a.m. Thursday at which time LUS closed the valve off.
“Broussard is now operating as they were prior to the storm,” Huval says. “We did step up to the plate to assist them; there was no question this is what we needed to do because this is because of public health.”
Broussard has a wholesale water contract with LUS and gets much of its own municipal water supply via LUS. But that wholesale agreement was jeopardized last year when it was discovered that Broussard had been bypassing an LUS meter and pumping additional — tens of thousands of gallons as a matter of fact — LUS water into Broussard for free. The discovery led to LUS hitting Broussard with a bill for more than $800,000, a bill Broussard ultimately paid but is disputing in court.
Coupled with lawsuits Broussard has filed against the city of Lafayette over annexations in south Lafayette Parish, the relationship between Broussard and LCG has been strained, to put it charitably. City-Parish President Joey Durel says he was contacted Wednesday over the potential water crisis in Broussard and didn’t think twice about helping. “Regardless of the perception of politics, we would never put people in any kind of harm’s way who we could help,” Durel says.
Surprisingly, not, Broussard Mayor Charlie Langlinais didn’t issue a press release thanking LUS for its help. But Broussard spokeswoman Amy Jones says officials there did reach out to LUS privately to thank the utility for its help.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.