We, at GDD8, are striving to clear and maintain ALL of our ditches and rights of way. Currently in GDD8, we have approximately 150 miles of ditches, most of which are numbered and declared drainage laterals. The GDD8 field crew (consisting of 5 employees) facilitates the work of cleaning and maintaining the laterals. This is done on a budget of about $0.70 per foot declared channel. GDD8 staff frequently responds to requests for work on ditches not yet in our system and we dig new laterals when warranted and feasible. This stretches the funding per foot of channel even further.

Our largest obstacles are our lack of funding and lack of manpower. An independent drainage study (The Fenstemaker Study, commissioned by the Police Jury), suggests our budget is only a third of what we really need to keep the drainage system maintained.

Another major obstacle is the lack of perpetual rights of way (ROW) to our declared laterals. Currently, GDD8 possesses less than 10% of the necessary perpetual ROWs to maintain the total linear footage of laterals within the District. Perpetual maintenance and perpetual ROW go hand in hand.

Another issue we face is that major portions of our laterals have been deemed as "wetlands" by the Army Corps of Engineers (COE). This can also be directly related to a lack of access to our declared drainage laterals. Over the years, the lack of ROWs has inhibited GDD8 in our ability to perform inspections and maintenance. Lack of access has allowed vegetation to grow unchecked and therefore these areas have been deemed as "wet" by the COE. Through proper mowing and spraying techniques, we can reclaim the maintenance banks. Then, the COE will allow additional maintenance work in these wet areas. With properly established rights of way, our access to laterals will enable us to have a more consistent maintenance schedule.

Times are changing, and we must change with them. Our community has grown at an incredible rate over the last decade. Our drainage infrastructure is not consistent with that growth.

Draft copies of right of way agreements are available for download on this website. It is with these cooperative endeavors and agreements that GDD8 will be able to bring our laterals up to date and move forward. Drainage maintenance and improvements provide for future growth within the district's system.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have. We look forward to partnering with you.

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