Concessions made to Montz residents for passage
Despite opposition stalling the project nearly five months, the St. Charles Parish Council cleared the way for construction of Entergy’s gas compression station in Montz.
Council members voted in favor of two measures – rezoning to allow for industrial use and a special permit that allowed putting the station at the site. They came with numerous concessions based on recent meetings with residents.
The gas compressor station will fuel Entergy’s $869 million St. Charles power plant, which has been under construction since August of last year in Montz.
“We would like to commend the St. Charles Parish Council for their careful and thorough analysis of the zoning for the Gulf South compressor station,” according to a joint statement issued Tuesday by Entergy and Gulf South. “We would also like to thank the members of the community who maintained an open mind and worked to reach an amicable resolution on a project that will provide significant benefits to the region and the Montz community.”
Texas-based Gulf South Pipeline Co. is the compressor builder and operator.
However, Councilwoman Traci Fletcher, who was the lone vote against the rezoning, told the crowd in the council chambers that she wanted the compressor station placed elsewhere.
“I fought the good fight,” Fletcher said. “We need to get the best for the residents of Montz. I will side with the residents on this issue.”
The councilwoman said she agreed with residents asking the station be put elsewhere nearby and then left the meeting.
Saying she had family members working for Entergy, Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto abstained on voting on both measures. Council members in support of them were Paul Hogan, Terrell Wilson, Mary Clulee, Dick Gibbs, Billy Woodruff, Marilyn Bullock and Julia Fisher-Perrier.Bob Fisher, Montz resident and member of the parish’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, again opposed approving the rezoning request and asked the council to reject it.
“It’s still spot zoning … taking residential [property] out of use” Fisher said. “Montz residents oppose spot zoning.”
The parish’s Planning Commission recommended approval of rezoning and the permit despite Montz residents’ asking the station not be put in their residential community.
Entergy’s Melanie Stewart thanked the council for allowing Entergy and Gulf South time to revise the project for consideration.
Shelly Corman, Gulf South’s vice president of customer service, said they had met with residents and addressed their concerns that translated into numerous concessions that include $2 million in drainage improvements.
Montz residents opposed the gas compressor station, consistently since its start, raising concerns about safety, as well as contending it would devalue their residential neighborhood
In response, the Council postponed indefinitely the compressor station.