Hwy. 90 boat launch put on hold
Councilwoman Carolyn Schexnaydre made a motion to budget the money for the boat launch, saying that the fishermen who would use it would bring the parish additional revenue.
Councilmen Terry Authement and Paul Hogan also spoke in favor of the launch, but the motion failed in a 5-3 vote.
Authement said that a lot of effort had already been put forth to purchase land on Highway 90 and that the parish was in final negotiations for 13 1/2 acres to accommodate the launch. He also said that he has heard from businesses, such as parish tackle shops, that were clamoring for the new boat launch because it would provide a much-needed boost to their revenues.
Authement added that the recent opening of Wetland Watchers Park gives East Bankers an area to fish and crab without having to own a boat, but that nothing exists on the West Bank to offer residents that same opportunity.
Councilman Larry Cochran, who originally called for the money to be moved into the general fund during budget hearings, said that the council’s decision doesn’t kill the boat launch. Instead, Cochran said that the parish needs a clear plan before it moves forward with the idea.
Parish Chief Financial Officer Grant Dussom said that the council could always budget for the launch at a later date.
But Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said that now is the time for the parish to act on the launch. Once the parish purchases the land, they can seek proposals from the Wallop-Breaux Fund, a state program used to create opportunity for sport fishing and boating.
The planned launch would include five double-ended launch sites, parking for 160 trucks/boats, separate parking for cars, two pavilions, a stage, bait shop and three restrooms.
It’s estimated to cost around $2 million.
The entire site would encompass 13 1/2 acres, and 1 1/2 acres would be donated to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries so that they could build a ranger station and museum.
The Wallop-Breaux fund usually provides an average of $500,000 a year, and Grants Officer Holly Fonseca said the entire project could be phased in over three or four years. She said that the parish could end up paying only 25 percent of the total $2 million cost.
But Cochran said that the parish doesn’t know for sure if they would receive the grant funding and that right now the state can’t fund education, let alone a boat launch.
Councilmen Dennis Nuss and Shelley Tastet agreed, saying that money is tight and that there are more important issues to worry about, such as drainage and levees.
Schexnaydre, Hogan and Authement cast votes to re-budget the money for the launch, while Nuss, Tastet, Cochran, Billy Raymond Sr., and Wendy Benedetto voted to keep the money in the general fund. Councilman Marcus Lambert was absent.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Four teens were arrested in connection with 15 auto burglaries that occurred last...
The St. Charles Parish School Board will ask residents to approve up to $42 million...
The falling price of oil has resulted in low prices at the pump—in some cases, less...
Three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of thousands of...
It’s been an up and down season for the Hahnville Lady Tigers.
St. Charles Parish residents might see a familiar face while tuning in to...
At Saia Auto Consultants, our ultimate goal is to get you the highest quality vehicle for your money.
Campbell - 677 views
Charles Fredrick Campbell, 79, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 6 of natural causes after a prolonged illness.