ABBEVILLE — The Vermilion Parish Police Jury received word Monday from Jury President Wayne Touchet that the parish will be able to form its own hurricane protection district now that passage of the needed legislation is almost assured.
Touchet said the legislation — which still needs House concurrence — allows the parish to take control of its own hurricane protection district rather than being part of a larger district that includes Cameron and Calcasieu parishes.
Touchet said after the meeting it took a lot of “blood, sweat and tears” in the Legislature to finally secure legislation for the district, and he gave special thanks to one Acadiana legislator.
“Simone Champagne (R-Jeanerette) played a crucial role in getting this thing passed,” he said. “It was a long process, but everyone here worked hard and I am proud to say we made it happen.”
The parish also needs approval from the governor and Senate for the hurricane protection district board.
Touchet said the board would operate similarly to a water board and try to raise state and federal funding for projects as well as bring possible tax measures to a local vote to fund local projects.
Once the board is in place, Touchet said the parish also plans to combine the hurricane protection district with neighboring Iberia Parish to address common flooding problems.
“Both parishes share a common coast and have similar flooding problems such as the Avery Canal,” he said.
“As a result, next session, Vermilion and Iberia hope to combine their two districts,” he said. “This will be much better than the two parishes being divided and thrown into other hurricane protection districts.”