Parish will seek state funding for 2 boat launches

The St. Charles Parish Council unanimously passed resolutions aimed at seeking state funding for two boat launches.

Councilman Paul Hogan, who introduced the measures, said getting them approved was necessary to put the parish in line for potential funding for recreational projects. Hogan said the “Highway 90 boat launch” for the Pier 90 area is the first priority with a new launch for Des Allemands as the second priority because the area already has a public boat launch.

Both resolutions got unanimous backing and co-sponsoring at Monday’s council meeting.

Hogan said he has long sought ways to fund the projects where demand is high for the boat launches.

“The West Bank of St. Charles Parish is in dire need of adequate public boat launch facilities,” he said.

The council-supported measures also call for seeking funding from potential sources, including the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), BP Horizon funding and NRDA Restoration funding for recreational use restoration projects.

They also call for Parish President Larry Cochran sending a letter with the project applications to the LDWF by the department’s Oct. 1 deadline requesting the projects be considered and placed on the 2018 list of Sport Fish Restoration boating access projects.

Under former Parish President V.J. St. Pierre’s administration, a Pier 90 boat launch was discussed but not approved because of unfavorable terms for the parish.

Hogan said the proposed project would have a different location in the area and favorable terms for the parish.While the parish already has a boat launch in Des Allemands, Hogan said a new one is needed and at a better location.

“The people want a new location,” he said of getting complaints about it for 30 years or just about when it was built. Neighboring residents have cited the location as lacking good parking, being disruptive, noisy and some boaters reported for indecent exposure. “It’s just a bad situation.”

Ken Suydam recently complained about the conditions at both the Des Allemands and Bayou Gauche boat launches.

“It’s a shame when you have to cancel a fishing trip because the lots are full,” Suydam said. “[I’m] tired of driving from one area to another just to find the same situation.”The situation is worsened by Suydam being handicapped.

“My suggestion is have someone go out and photograph the areas and talk to people at the launches and get an idea of how they see it,” he said. “Summer time is upon us and I’m sitting here pondering on alternate fishing areas because I know there will be days I won’t get to launch in our local launches.”

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