Levee District to purchase GPS/elevation device

BERWICK, La. — The St. Mary Parish Levee District commission authorized the levee district to solicit bids for a portable GPS/elevation unit that would have the capability to give an instantaneous elevation reading and integrate with Google Earth.

The GPS unit would probably cost around $20,000, Levee District Executive Director Tim Matte said.

Reid Miller of Miller Engineers, who recommended the type of GPS unit, said, “You can get an instantaneous point. You can get that data on your readout. You can also collect that data and store it … You can integrate with Google Earth, get your own aerial photographs.”

Levee District Operations Manager Michael Brocato Jr. said he is “looking at utilizing it to its fullest extent.”

The device would also allow the levee district to take photos while doing inspections and record the location and, “as far as reports, it’s just about unlimited,” Brocato said.

The commission also approved an amendment for CB&I infrastructure company for the Bayou Chene Flood Control project in the amount of $152,905.15

T. Baker Smith and Miller Engineers are under subcontract for the project to do the surveys for the design level of all the alignment from the locks to the end of the Tabor Canal, Jeff Peña of CB&I said.

They could not use GPS because the vegetation was too thick so they have to physically go in to survey the area, Peña said.

The Bayou Chene Flood Control project is estimated to cost $80 million.

The Bayou Chene project, which is located just south of the McDermott yard in Amelia, will block off Bayou Chene so that flood waters cannot come up Bayou Chene through Bayou Boeuf to Lake Palourde, Matte said in June.

Surveying and geotechnical work is nearing completion for the project, Peña said. The permit application has been submitted and modeling work has begun, Peña said.

Work on the Franklin Canal Levee and Floodgate Design project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August to the middle of September due to rain days, Nicole Cutforth, project manager at CB&I.

The barge for the project is 75 percent complete and is being sandblasted and painted, Peña said. The pump station cut off wall is being driven, he said.

Blaine Crochet of Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick presented the levee district’s 2012 audit report. The report listed two findings.

Due to the small number of accounting personnel, the district did not have adequate segregation of functions within its accounting system, the reported stated.

Its recommendation is, based upon the size of the entity and the cost-benefit of considering the addition personnel, it may not be feasible to achieve complete segregation of accounting functions, the report stated.

The other finding was that the accounting staff lacks training and expertise in the selection and application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the financial statement preparation process, the report stated.

The report recommended that cost-benefit evaluation should be performed to determine the feasibility of the district being able to select and apply Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the financial statement preparation process.

In other business, the commission approved a sheet pile request from the City of Morgan City to use surplus sheet pile from the levee district to repair a water intake station that was damaged by a vessel running into it, Matte said.

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Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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