City parish gets millions to fix stormwater drainage issues
BATON ROUGE - Residents like Brad Weems are tired of their streets looking like a lake after heavy downpours. Monday afternoon, the view from Weem's front porch was unrecognizable.
"When it rains you see a lake," Weems said. "This is a medium to heavy rain and in Louisiana, we have a lot of heavy rain. So it's on a regular basis."
Help could be on the way. On Tuesday the Baton Rouge Metro Council approved Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broom's 2022 budget, which could include $15 million to create a new stormwater division. The goal is to help clear the streets of standing water as quickly as possible after heavy rainfall.
The funding, which would assist existing departments with drainage, comes from the American Rescue Plan. However, the cash from the Capitol is something Baton Rouge will only get once.
The Metro Council is now waiting for the results of a study that is expected to help determine how much money would be needed to keep the new stormwater division operating. Officials say they've known for some time that this help was needed. Both them and residents hope this cash can begin to turn the tide on the flood fight.
"I don't mind a little bit of water in the street, but when it's up to almost my house, that's a huge problem. And this is on a recurring basis," Weems said.
That study on how to fund the new stormwater division should take about eight months to complete. The Metro Council will discuss the options at that point.
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