Ascension Sewer represents a consortium among Ascension Wastewater Treatment, GSA, Hartman Engineering, and Bernhard Capital Partners with the goal of developing and building a modern consolidated sewer system for Ascension Parish.

There is consensus among local leaders that Ascension Parish needs a modern, cost-effective and environmentally responsible consolidated sewer system.

Ascension Sewer brings a unique team with a proposal for consolidating existing sewer providers, applying innovative and industry-leading concepts, and leveraging local engineering expertise in the planning and construction of a regional sewer system. We propose to leverage the expertise of our team to develop, finance, construct, operate, and maintain wastewater collection treatment facilities and services for the East Bank of Ascension Parish.


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A MODERN, CONSOLIDATED SEWER SYSTEM

BENEFITS TO ASCENSION PARISH

Economic
  • Systems consolidated as a parish asset
  • More certainty that future growth can be accommodated
  • Parish aligns investments in roadway, drainage and sewer infrastructure
Environmental
  • Improved water quality and no flow into local water bodies including Bayou Manchac, New River and others declared impaired by LDEQ
  • Less risk of overflows and odors
  • Improved drainage capacity with less sewer in ditches
Rates & Service
  • Owned and regulated by Parish, provides more accountability
  • Reliable and convenient customer service with one provider
  • Residents and businesses become parish customers with uniform rates

HOW WILL THIS IMPACT SEWER RATES?

Ascension Sewer proposes to execute this project maintaining a competitive rate structure similar to current sewer rates in East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. Residents and businesses will become parish customers and can expect uniform, reasonable rates, along with reliable and convenient customer service. The proposed rate is $57.90 per month.

THE PROPOSAL FOR ASCENSION PARISH

Ascension Sewer has developed a comprehensive proposal which was presented as a Construction and Operating Agreement between Ascension Consolidated Utility District #2 (ACUD #2) and Ascension Sewer which offers the Parish the ability to retain ownership and ultimate control of the existing and new sewer system as a public asset - this is not a sale or privatization. As a public utility, the Parish would also retain oversight of performance and rate-making authority. Ascension Sewer would receive revenues from system operations over a 30-year timeframe.

Ascension Sewer would be responsible for all operating expenses and capital investment, and would execute the plan for the first phase for building the connections to a new water treatment plant located near the Mississippi River in the northwest portion of the Parish at a cost of more than $215 million, providing coverage to nearly 19,500 customers and significantly reducing flows into Bayou Manchac. This means that residents won’t have to front the capital with public funds or vote on a bond to make these required and needed system improvements.

The comprehensive plan, which optimizes the efforts of prior plans and was developed at Ascension Sewer's own expense, provides as much coverage as possible to citizens in a manner that stabilizes future rate increases. The final plan includes a detailed cost and rate structure, as well as wastewater treatment plant and system construction plans. This proposal has been independently evaluated by Ernst and Young and fully vetted by Parish leadership.

An economic benefit analysis that examines the benefits and costs associated with the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with Ascension Sewer conducted by Dr. James Richardson finds that this proposal would result in an automatic increase of $4.1 million within the parish budget to cover other needs, without any increase in taxes or fees or without any reason to downsize other programs because the parish would no longer need to transfer $4.1 million annually (as it has over the last five years) to support its sewer and water operations and capital needs. The report can be accessed here

  • May 7, 2019—Ascension Parish Utilities Committee recommends approval of CEA with Ascension Sewer
  • May 16, 2019—Ascension Parish Council approves CEA
  • July 23, 2019—Open House
  • May – Oct. 2019—Ongoing public outreach to Ascension Parish stakeholders and citizens
  • Oct. 2019—Comprehensive Sewer Plan delivered to Parish Council for review and consideration (ALL TASKS COMPLETED ON TIME AND AT ASCENSION SEWER’S EXPENSE)
  • Oct. 8, 2019—Update on proposal to Utilities Committee
  • Nov. 7, 2019—COA introduced on agenda at Council meeting
  • Nov. 12, 2019—Presentation to Utilities Committee, approval to send to Council for vote
  • Nov. 21, 2019—Informational presentation
  • Dec. 16, 2019—Anticipated vote by Parish Council

OUR TEAM CAN EXECUTE AND DELIVER

This proposal is supported by robust, local financial backing to fund short-term infrastructure needs and additional capacity for future investments. The Ascension Sewer team consists of local partners who understand our local needs.
Ascension Wastewater Treatment
Ascension
Wastewater Treatment
GSA Inc.
GSA
Consulting Engineers
Hartman Engineering, Inc.
Hartman
Engineering
Bernhard Capital Partners
Bernhard
Capital Partners

IN THE NEWS

Ascension council agrees to negotiations for regional sewer deal, former Shaw boss Jim Bernhard part of deal

Ascension Parish government agreed Thursday to start exclusive negotiations with a private partnership involving former Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard to bring a long-sought regional sewage treatment system to the parish's east bank.

Read More

New Bernhard company proposes P3 to build out, run Ascension Parish sewer system

A new company created by Bernhard Capital Partners is teaming up with Ascension Parish on a proposed public-private partnership to develop a new sewer system for the rapidly growing parish.

Read More

MORE DETAILS

PARISH COUNCIL PRESENTATION ON CONTRACT – NOV. 21, 2019
UTILITIES COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – MAY 7, 2019
UTILITIES COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – MAY 7, 2019