The St. Charles Parish Council has included funding in the 2014 budget to raise a sunken vessel in lac Des Allemands.
The vessel “Pretty Boy” has been partially submerged near the Highway 90 bridge in Des Allemands since it sank four years ago.
Councilman Paul Hogan, whose home is adjacent to the boat, has been working on having the vessel removed by the parish after plans to have it raised by its owner fell through.
Hogan was initially turned down by other Parish Council members when he proposed an amendment to set aside $10,400 from the budget to have the vessel raised. He credits a petition that was passed around the neighborhood and received 80 signatures with swaying the opinion of other council members to provide funding for the project.
“I would hope the petition had the bulk to do with it. This is something that has been bothering the community. It bothers me. People stop and talk to me all of the time and ask, ‘When are you all going to get rid of that crap?’” he said.
The money to raise the vessel will come out of the public works budget and the parish will go after its owner, Stanford Naquin, to reimburse them for the cost.
“If he doesn’t write the check to pay for it then that is when you go to court and have the judge issue a judgment to place a lien, garnish his wages or seize his property,” Hogan said. “There is a whole bunch of avenues to force him to pay. If he doesn’t pay for some reason, they can even seize his bank account.”
Hogan said the parish should first give Naquin a chance to take care of the vessel on his own before going through with any final action.
“If the guy comes up with another plan, it isn’t going to be that he is going to have this picked up in six months,” Hogan said. “You are going to have that thing picked up in 60 days.”
In the past, Naquin said he has unsuccessfully tried to raise the vessel twice on his own and that he does not have the funds to take on such a project.
“Find somebody to help me pick it up, because I am broke,” Naquin said.
Parish President V.J. St. Pierre was against using parish funds to raise the vessel because he said it wasn’t a safety hazard.
“That is the main reason the administration is not in favor of undertaking the raising of the Pretty Boy. I am also concerned about any potential environmental hazards that may result from raising the vessel, such as oil and/or gas tank leaks, and associated cleanup costs,” he said. “This would essentially constitute an expenditure of public funds for what may be a private dispute, which can be taken care of civilly.”
Des Allemands resident Roy Lunk, 74, said he thinks the issue is pretty simple.
“The boat is there and sunk. It is the individual that allowed it to go down and sink that should bear the burden of doing whatever is necessary for getting it out of there,” he said. “Whether he likes it or not, that is just the way it is.”
|The St. Charles Parish Council has set aside $10,400 from the budget to raise a sunken boat that residents in the area called an eyesore. Councilman Paul Hogan said the parish will go after the boat’s owner to get reimbursed for raising the vessel.|