Slidell hoping for grant to improve bayou, flooding in Olde Towne


Posted on July 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 12 at 7:00 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

SLIDELL- Almost 11 months ago, when Hurricane Isaac pushed flood waters into Olde Towne Slidell, leaders say Bayou Pattasat was one reason people were evacuated, while several homes and businesses were damaged.
Pontchartrain Investment Management was one of them.
"It's disruptive to our lives and its disruptive to the businesses in this area,” said Chris Nogues, a partner with Pontchartrain Investment Management, “And even more so, it makes people reluctant to invest in Olde Towne and spend time and money in the area."
The city is now trying to get a grant to rework the waterway and prevent the problem in the future.
Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan said, "The grant actually will allow us to go in and actually widen it and slope the banks."
"I feel like if we get the money for this grant, then we'll be able to solve that problem," said area Councilman Lionel Hicks.
It'll also remedy a long-time litter problem in the bayou.
Hicks said, "Taking that money, buying both rakes and bars and screens, put it in place so when the trash does come through, we can take the debris out before it gets to the actual pumping station."
The city isn't just hoping to get this grant to improve the flooding situation. They're also hoping to add a little more character to Olde Towne by adding bike paths and picnic tables along the bayou."
Drennan said, "We believe it'll be a great economic engine for our Olde Towne District here in the City of Slidell at the same time creating a wonderful, wonderful jogging path and recreational area for the citizens in the city."
Residents are on-board.
Nogues said, "While Olde Towne is a very viable area right now, we think that it has a lot of potential to be much better, and we need to get the flooding issues addressed in order to make that happen."
The city says it received a favorable review of its initial request for the grant. Leaders have to respond to that review to move the process forward by October. The city is hoping to be able to have the grant by next year.