Parish will seek to cancel boat launch deal

September 08 at 5:55 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Parish will seek to cancel boat launch deal
St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran announced that the parish will introduce a new ordinance seeking council approval to cancel the Gator Cove Marina II lease.

In a statement released today, Cochran said the decision was made because other possible land options were recently presented.

"I feel it is in the best interest of St. Charles Parish to commission a committee comprised of sportsmen who are residents of the parish to identify a piece of property that can be used for a west bank boat launch," he said. "The committee will work in conjunction with an engineer to assess each location’s viability."

Cochran further states a recommendation will be made from the committee to the administration, who will then evaluate it and bring it before the council.

He also invited anyone interested in serving on the committee to contact their councilman.

At the Aug. 31 St. Charles Parish Council meeting, the council voted 5 to 2 in support of leasing a 33.27-acre site east of Pier 90 on Bayou Virette for the estimated $3 million “Hwy. 90 Boat Launch.”

While all who commented at the meeting agreed the parish needs more boat launches, they disagreed over the parish leasing the marina site for $4,500 a month for 30 years from Gerald Savoie Jr., manager and agent of Gator Cove Marina II LLC in Cut Off, La.

The project’s first phase was estimated to cost more than a $1 million for construction, including $156,894 for road improvements, $94,800 in mitigation on 1.58 acres of the property, and two boat launches with bulkheads at $250,000.

Councilman Paul Hogan objected to the lease deal and called for an expanded search for alternatives that includes buying or expropriating the land.

Hogan also said Savoie is the nephew of Neal Clulee, whose wife, Mary, serves on the council. A bill of sale also shows the Clulees sold the marina acreage to Savoie for $100 in August.

Council members Wendy Benedetto, Julia Fisher-Perrier, Dick Gibbs, Traci Fletcher and Billy Woodruff voted for the project with the property lease. Council Chair Terrell Wilson and Councilman Paul Hogan opposed it, Councilwoman Marilyn Bellock was absent and Councilwoman Mary Clulee abstained from voting on the project because of a conflict of interest.  

View other articles written Anna Thibodeaux

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