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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Councilman, parish president bicker over boat launch ceremony

Councilman, parish president bicker over boat launch ceremony

The Lafourche Parish Council ended the year Tuesday night with its Parish President and Council Chairman spending time bickering over the handling of the Leeville Public Boat Launch’s recent opening.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the launch on Dec. 1 to announce its opening with less than the fanfare and recognition Lorraine thought appropriate for the long-awaited project, and he let everyone know his feelings.

“It's a fine boat launch and it's being used now, and it's going to be used by the public a lot,” he said. “But I think when they did this function they should have thought about all the people behind the scenes.”

The $1.1 million launch is located at the site of the old Leeville lift bridge, and includes two launch ramps and a kayak launch into Bayou Lafourche, a fishing pier, and parking for about 60 vehicles/trailers.

Over two years were spent on the design and construction of the launch. Lorraine feels that the ceremony only recognized what he called the “big dogs”.

“No councilmen and very few port commissioners were invited,” he stated at the meeting.

Lorraine was also irritated about a sign at the launch which only recognizes the state’s contribution to the project, a $487,000 grant from the Wallop-Breaux Act.

“The parish and the port put up 50-60% of the money for the launch, not just Wallop-Breaux,” said Lorraine.

Randolph explained that the sign was required in the contract to accept the money from the state and that it is “unfair to focus on the negative part of this.”

“We can put a sign acknowledging the parish and the port. But there is a way to ask for it,” she said.

Randolph argued that the idea to do a ribbon cutting was not her administration’s and noted several other parish projects which did not have ribbon cutting ceremonies.

“We did not do ribbon cuttings for Laurel Valley Road, or the Company Canal, or one of 12 and two of 12 pump stations. We don’t want a pat on the back,” she stated.

Randolph called Lorraine’s argument “childish”.

“No it’s not childish,” replied Lorraine, vowing to hold another opening ceremony at the launch in the near future to which the public will be invited and everyone who had a hand in the launch’s creation will be recognized.



Councilman Daniel Lorraine voiced his displeasure at Tuesday’s council meeting of the way the opening of the new Leeville Boat Launch was held.

Pictured doing the ribbon cutting was Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, along with Port Commission members, Kris Gaudet andChuckieCheramie, Randy Meyers with Wildlife and Fisheries, Port Director, Chett Chiasson, and Port Commission members, Larry Griffin and John Melancon.