NEW ORLEANS — The executive director of the Sewerage and Water board received a glowing evaluation by the board and a substantial pay hike after his first full year on the job, according to the minutes of the most recent Sewerage and Water Board meeting. 

Ghassan Korban, who was hired in the summer of 2018, was given an "exceeds expectations" rating by the full board and an 8.8 percent pay hike to his $265,000 salary at a board meeting on Jan. 22.

That increase plus the raise that all S&WB employees receive yearly will put his pay at about $295,000. 

Korban took over a troubled agency and has tried to rectify many of the problems with the aging infrastructure of the pump, power and drainage systems.

In 2019 there were a number of boil water advisories for various reasons, often aging pipes - some more than 100 years old - that burst, causing a drop in water pressure.

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There were also a handful of severe flooding events including one prior to Tropical Storm Barry where what was described as a "100-year event' flooded hundreds of cars and gridlocked the city during rush hour on July 10.

Following a flooding rain in late August, the Sewerage and Water Board engaged in a clean out of the underground Lafitte drainage canal where more than 22,000 tons of debris, including at least one entire automobile lay blocking optimal water movement. 

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