As St. Bernard Parish continues to recover from the 2005 devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of levees, the good news is that the U.S. government has funded major improvements to levees, pump stations and floodgates protecting the parish and its neighbors.

If Uncle Sam pays for the construction, though, local government is responsible for operating and maintaining the improvements since Katrina.

We urge voters in the parish to approve a new tax that will pay for operations and maintenance of the 60 miles of levees and other structures passed into the control of the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District.

It is not a small tax at 7.5 mills for 30 years, supplementing the existing 11.1 mills for levees and maintenance. Yet the incredible, and continuing, costs of the events of 2005 make it one of the insurance investments that St. Bernard Parish needs.