Council will talk about boat launch plans at meeting

October 14, 2011 at 9:08 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The St. Charles Parish Council will discuss plans for two West Bank boat launches at a committee meeting on Tuesday just in time for budget hearings at the end of the month.

Last year, some council members said they needed more information before moving ahead with a $2 million boat launch in Luling. At the time, the parish was in final negotiations for 13 1/2 acres on Highway 90 to accommodate the launch. The planned launch would have included five double-ended launch sites, parking for 160 trucks/boats, a separate parking area for cars, two pavilions, a stage, bait shop and three restrooms.

The parish planned to seek funding from the Wallop-Breaux fund, which usually provides an average of $500,000 a year. Grants Officer Holly Fonseca told the council at the time that the entire project could be phased in over three or four years and that the parish could end up paying only 25 percent of the total cost.

Parish spokeswoman Renee Simpson said the parish is still in negotiations for the land with the obstacles being cost of the land and also cost to mitigate wetlands in the area.
In September, the council also postponed a decision on whether or not to seek a grant for a new boat launch in Des Allemands due to concerns over the 2012 budget.

The proposed launch site is located on Mud Lake off WPA road. Landowners told the parish they would donate three acres of land for the project as long as the parish attains the necessary funding by next year.

There is already a public boat launch in Des Allemands under the Highway 90 bridge, but Councilman Paul Hogan, who called for the committee meeting to discuss the launches, said the area has been plagued with problems for years.

“The boat launch has been a nuisance,” Hogan said. “People come in at all times of the day and night generating both trash and noise. The major thing is that to launch there you have to back across an active roadway with your boat and trailer. Once you get in the launch, half of your vehicle is sticking out into the street and it is a safety hazard.”

The total cost of building the first phase of the Des Allemands launch was estimated to be $962,000. That would include a crushed stone road to the property with parking, two double-down ramps and lighting. The parish had hoped to attain up to $721,287 for the project from the Wallop Breaux fund.

The meeting to discuss the launches will be held on Oct. 18 in the Parish Council chambers. It is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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