Gator Cove will not renegotiate lease for boat launch site

Hope Savoie, sister of Gerald Savoie Jr., who owns Gator Cove Marina II in Cut Off, told the West Bank Boat Launch Citizens Advisory Committee her brother will not renegotiate the controversial Gator Cove Marina II lease.

Shortly after Savoie’s comments, the St. Charles Parish Council voted against a request to perform appraisals on Pier 90 and Gator Cove Marina II toward leasing or owning the land, but that move came under scrutiny again.

When the public expressed staunch opposition to the lease approved in September, Parish President Larry Cochran announced the formation of the advisory committee, which is charged with recommending new sites for boat launches in the parish. But during this process, it was learned the lease, which the council had voted to table to allow the advisory committee to handle, had already been cancelled.

But the committee has still included Gator Cove in its discussions as a prospective launch provided there are changes in the terms of the deal or the land is purchased.

Under request of the committee, Cochran sought approval for the appraisals for the site, as well as Pier 90.

But Hope Savoie vehemently announced there’s no deal if the parish changes the lease, as well as told the committee it’s taking too long to make a decision.

“Hear me good when I say this, Gator Cove is not selling, lengthening the contract or reducing the monthly price, so make a decision or count us out,” Hope Savoie said. “Our family has suffered enough.”

In September, the deal drew a firestorm of public disapproval when the council approved the Gator Cove lease for $4,500 a month for the next 30 years. Called the Hwy. 90 Boat Launch, Cochran heralded the parish’s move to build a world-class marina on a 33-acre site east of Pier 90 on Bayou Virette.

Questions arose about the deal when it was learned Gerald Savoie formed the company on May 11, 2017, to acquire the land from Councilwoman Mary Clulee and her husband, Neal.

The Clulees, who also own land adjoining the future marina location, donated the road for the project. The council approved the access servitude as part of the project.

But Councilman Paul Hogan announced the deal was “criminal” and appealed to the fellow council members to “please do not take the taxpayers to the cleaners.”

 

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