ABBEVILLE — The Vermilion Parish Police Jury voted unanimously Monday to table a motion that would have provided six names from election districts 6, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14 to be placed on the Chenier Plain Levee District.
The action was taken on a move from coastal Protection Committee Chairman Gerald Butaud, who said the move was not necessary because there was still a good chance Vermilion’s hurricane protection district could still be included with Iberia rather than Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed HB-334 by Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Jeanerette, which would have removed Vermilion from the Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority and established the Vermilion Parish Levee, Hurricane Protection and Conservation District.
Champagne’s bill would have removed Vermilion from the boundaries of the authority with its three members in favor of a nine-member board of commissioners.
Butaud said the plan all along was to enter into a levee district with Iberia, which shares more similar coastal concerns.
“Delaying action (on this item) is very important,” Butaud said. “I move to table it. What is the hurry all in a sudden when we agreed several weeks ago not to do this?”
Jury President Wayne Touchet said he discussed the matter in the jury’s last committee meeting because he feared the Chenier Plains board would be seated by Jindal and have a quorum without representation from Vermilion.
“With a quorum, they could conduct business without Vermilion representation at the table,” Touchet said. “That board could call for an election in this parish because they were seated.”
Butaud recommended the issue be tabled pending an upcoming meeting with Champagne, the Vermilion legislative delegation and Garret Graves,
of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
“I spoke to Mrs. Champagne, and she feels there is still a chance we can be paired up with Iberia,” he said. “We need to get with the delegation and Graves. There is no need to rush this.”