Mayor Charles “Chuck” Robichaux explains the new ditch-cleaning process to other mayors and city officials from around the state who are interested in using the technique in their own cities. (Acadian-Tribune Photo by Lisa Soileaux)

Rayne ditch-cleaning project assisting other Louisiana cities

RAYNE - Last year when the City of Rayne garnered the LMA’s 16th annual “Best of Show Award” for its “Phase II Drainage Improvements (Culvert Angioplasty)” project, Mayor Charles “Chuck” Robichaux expected his hometown project to continue throughout the streets of Rayne.
The project involved a new method of clearing drainage culverts in the city’s ditches. It was noted of the tools and methods required for the ongoing project were conceived, designed and fabricated entirely by city employees.
But, since the project was displayed during a simple two-minute video shown during last year’s LMA Convention, other cities have shown interest.
Robichaux has and continues to help other local governments with similar projects designed after Rayne’s drainage improvements, in turn, preventing costly flooding not just in Rayne, but elsewhere in the state.
Robichaux, along with a handful of city employees, demonstrated the new method of ditch cleaning and the tools they use to a number of interested mayors and city officials in the area for the recently held LMA District Conference held in Crowley.
One day prior to the conference, the group met in Rayne to witness and take notes of the new procedure Rayne employees use for “culvert angioplasty” which not only clears standing ditches, but clogged culverts and driveways.
Among other city officials from throughout the state, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine of Ville Platte and Mayor Wendy Perrette of Bogalusa were on hand as Robichaux and Rayne city workers demonstrated the device. Both Ville Platte and Bogalusa intend to create a similar system to use in their own communities.
With a recent LMA announcement, LaMATS Executive Director Cliff Palmer said he plans for the Bureau to assist in this municipal tech-transfer project by helping promote the system and educate local governments on its acquisition and proper use.

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