By a unanimous 9-0 vote at its Tuesday, June 13 public meeting, the Lafourche Parish Council passed an ordinance authorizing Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle to buy properties located at 106 Mercer Road in Larose including the boat launch for $310,000.
The ordinance had been on three previous meeting agendas but was deferred pending several issues, most importantly a letter of no objection from the South Lafourche Levee District (SLLD).
The letter in hand, Councilman Jerry Lafont announced that SLLD had no objection to the parish’s plan to reopen the boat launch and asked for support from other members on the ordinance.
Part of the SLLD levee system and adjacent right of way borders the Mercer property.
SLLD General Manager Windell Curole said at a recent SLLD meeting that his board did request and receive certain assurances from the parish prior to giving full permission to use the launch including liability insurance coverage, a guarantee that the parish will not damage the wall area or any flood protection near the launch, and an assurance that allows SLLD to take over the boat launch during emergencies.
Councilman Armand Autin said it was a “tough one” to vote for the ordinance to buy another launch when the Lockport launch in his district is “falling apart”.
Autin said he has been asking for funds to repair and upgrade the Lockport public launch for well over a year but has received no funding. He likewise wondered about future costs.
“What’s the cost beyond this to get the location in a serviceable condition?” asked Austin. “Do we have a cost estimate to get it operational?”
Interim Parish Administrator Tommy Lasseigne, speaking for the Parish President who was not in attendance, said that he wasn’t aware if any cost estimate had been done to open and maintain the launch.
“I don’t know if any analysis was done on it. This was put up that they wanted to purchase the property. You’d have to go to Recreation and pay for whatever you want done,” said Lasseigne.
Jerry Lafont said it would not take much to get the Mercer launch operational.
“It just has to be cleaned up. It’s still accessible,” he said.
No date has been set for the opening of the launch.
Posted on Fri, June 16, 2017
by Buster Avera, Lafourche Gazette Contributing Writer