Des Allemands residents have long asked for it and will get it soon with the award of a $1.84 million grant for a new boat launch.
“They’re funding the whole thing,” said parish Councilman Paul Hogan. “That’s awesome.”
The launch site, however, is still undecided. For years, Hogan has steadfastly pushed for the “Wiegand property” site, an estimated 4 acres in Des Allemands that owner Robert Wiegand had agreed to donate years ago, but it didn’t materialize.
Recently, Hogan resumed talks with Wiegand, who agreed to the move again although questions have since arisen over whether the location is a viable option with planned construction of a levee and flood gate there.
Hogan said the funds were awarded contingent on having a land opportunity for the boat launch and he, as well as Councilman Billy Woodruff, have confirmed other options are being considered. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), which awarded the grant, requires those options be in the vicinity of the Wiegand property.
Although Des Allemands has a boat launch, it’s been decided it will remain open to residents but will not be upgraded as the area’s main launch.
“This money is for the construction of a new boat launch facility south of the existing Des Allemands boat launch,” Hogan said. “The existing boat launch will remain to service the local area.”
Woodruff agreed the existing launch will not be upgraded and that other sites are being considered, although he added that he’s not prepared to disclose those sites at this time.
On July 17, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced at a press conference that St. Charles Parish would be among nine parishes to receive funds from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement.
St. Charles Parish will use the funds for a launch, which will include ramps, parking for vehicles and trailers along with wooden docks.
Parish President Larry Cochran said the funds represent additional investment in the parish’s infrastructure.
“At a time when we are investing in our infrastructure such as drainage, pump stations and hurricane protection, it is refreshing to see the state recognize St. Charles Parish,” Cochran said. “Being awarded $1.8 million for a boat launch in Des Allemands gives our citizens a much needed quality of life and additional recreational opportunities.”
Out of the 350 projects submitted, the 23 selected for funding held the greatest potential to provide and enhance recreational opportunities for the coastal parishes.