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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Council members disagree on where asphalt should be stored

Council members disagree on where asphalt should be stored

When you drive by the Lafourche Parish Region “C” Barn on Hwy. 308 in Lockport, you will see several piles of ground up asphalt.

It may be difficult to believe that these mounds of material might be the source of contention between Councilman Daniel Lorraine and the parish administration, but because the asphalt comes from streets in Road Sales Tax District 2 (RSDT2), Lorraine is upset over storing the material in Lockport.

A portion of the sales tax collected in RSTD2, a taxing district south of the Intracoastal Waterway, is used to fund road, bridge and drainage projects in that district.

Lorraine first protested over this issue in a January 13 public meeting, saying that most of the material created when streets in RSTD2 were ground down for resurfacing was trucked to Lockport instead of Golden Meadow.

“If I wouldn’t have called the DA’s office, it would all be in Lockport. It’s a different taxing district, and I am uncomfortable with it,” said Lorraine.

At Tuesday’s January 28 public meeting, Lorraine introduced a resolution to get a District Attorney’s opinion as to whether the parish can stockpile and or/use materials from RSTD2 outside the taxing district from which it originates.

Councilman Jerry Lafont argued the logic of putting the material in Lockport.

“I would like to amend the resolution to add that the DA considers that the Region ‘C’ Barn also supplies Phillip Gouaux’s and my district,” he said.

Lafont said he wanted to make sure the DA was aware of the fact that Region 7 and 8 are part of RSTD2.

“They hauled everything completely out of the area from which it came,” said Lorraine. “We could use that material for boat launches, pump stations, and even the sides of roads. If you want to stockpile, do it around Hamilton Street (in Larose).”

Lafont reminded Lorraine that there is a pump station north of Larose that could use the material. He called storing the material in Golden Meadow “a waste of time and effort”.

“I understand it has to be used in RSTD2. But it is pointless to take a dump truck from Region ‘C’, drive all the way almost to Golden Meadow, pick up recycled material, and drive it all the way back to Hamilton Street,” said Lafont.

Councilman Aaron Caillouet said the “waste of time” would be involving the DA in this tempest.

“I am voting no because this is a problem that can be worked out by the parties concerned without wasting the time of the DA,” he said.

The vote was 8-1 for Lafont’s amendment, Lindel Toups dissenting.

The resolution passed 6-3, with Gouaux, Toups, and Caillouet voting nay.