Bogalusa team visits Rayne for training

Published 4:09 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette took a nearly-three-hour trip to Rayne on Wednesday, as she attended a training session on unplugging blocked drainage systems that was hosted by Rayne Mayor Chuck Robichaux.

Perrette had previously sent Bogalusa’s Director of Public Works James Hall and his right-hand-man, Jeff Boone.

The city of Rayne is sharing its new way of clearing a culvert system. Its procedure of unclogging tunnels of sludge with a tool made up of steel parts is likely going to change the way Bogalusa deals with its drainage issues, Perrette said.

“It’s metal that’s welded together to fit in culverts to pull out all the debris out of the pipe, using heavy duty oilfield cabling and a backhoe,” Rayne Mayor Chuck Robichaux said. “We’re bringing cities into our community to train them on drainage improvements for their communities.”

“It’s mayors getting together and working on a common problem, because we all have drainage problems,” Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said.

Perrette said that she and her top advisers have been working closely with Rayne city officials to learn the system and bring it to Bogalusa.

“The city of Rayne was nice enough to make the tools for us,” Perrette said on Wednesday. “It cost us $1,977, and they built the tools for us and the equipment for it. My men were here today and yesterday learning how to do this.”

This work usually requires outside contractors and costs thousands of dollars, but now cities can clear their culverts quickly and cost-efficiently and can utilize their city employees.

The Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) will soon begin distributing it to municipalities statewide.