St. Charles Parish council members tabled another move by the parish administration for a public boat launch, this time to invest thousands of dollars in the existing location in Des Allemands.
The proposed ordinance came up for consideration at last Monday’s council meeting, which would have authorized the parish president to buy property at 409 Down the Bayou Road from Sherwood A. Berard.
Parish Public Works Director Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux told the council the purchase agreement calls for paying $155,000 for property that included Berard’s house to move the road away from the water’s edge. Plans also call for additional boat access, adding a small pavilion and bathroom, as well as lighting.
The council tabled the land purchase with councilmen Billy Woodruff and Terrell Wilson opposing the move.
Clyde McCully of Paradis, who owns land adjoining the location on both sides, told the council the plan was preliminary and wanted to see “the entire plan” or more details.
“From what I know, it’s just a good verbal plan,” he said.
McCully asked the proposal be tabled to develop a more complete plan to ensure they were not “trading one problem for a bigger one.”
Neighboring property owner Patricia Hartman also questioned making this kind of investment in a location where there is crime, trash and noise. Hartman asked the council to reject the purchase.
Councilman Paul Hogan also questioned the move asking why the parish could be investing money in a location that area residents asked to maintain primarily for their use. Hogan also told Faucheux he requested project plans two weeks ago but just received them shortly before the council meeting.
Hogan said it poses numerous issues, including potential conflicts by using federal money on it.
Councilman Billy Woodruff, who represents the area, supported the improvements for the site, which would affect him propertywise, too, and called it a win-win. Woodruff added two commercial fishermen who tie up their boats there also support the upgrades.
Faucheux said the upgrades were aimed at improving safety at the boat launch.
Councilwoman Mary Clulee asked if the project posed any issues with the state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD).
Faucheux said no.
But Hogan, who said he opposed the extent of the parish investment, maintained that was unlikely. He said the parish “was jumping the gun” on buying the property without first consulting the DOTD and asked the purchase be tabled.
Councilwoman Julia Fisher-Perrier questioned Faucheux on whether delaying the purchase caused issues.
Faucheux replied the sale is predicated on Berard having bought another house.
“One relies on the other,” he said, adding the delay could cause the deal to fall through.
Perrier questioned the issue being Berard buying another house.
Faucheux maintained he’d been working on the deal with Berard for “quite some time.”
St. Charles Parish public boat launches
Des Allemands Boat Launch
399 Down the Bayou Road, Des Allemands
Hahnville Boat Launch
2566 LA 3127, Hahnville
Montz Boat Launch (Bonnet Carre Spillway)
Spillway Upper Guide Levee, Montz
Paradis Boat Launch
14820 Old Spanish Trail, Paradis
Spillway Boat Launch
Lower Guide Levee Road at Airline Highway, Norco