Jurors approve 7¢ airport land use fee
By PAUL KEDINGER
The Acadia Parish Police Jury approved a seven cent per square foot land use lease fee for tenants at LeGros Memorial Airport during Tuesday night’s meeting.
The move wasn’t unanimous, as Juror A.J. “Fatty” Broussard
argued that tenants, like Dr. Edward Moody II who signed a 30-year lease based on the value of a hangar he built and turned over to the Police Jury, should have a lower land use fee based on the building’s value.
“We should balance the expense (which he said was $60,000) against the 7 cents,” Broussard remarked.
Legal Counsel Doug Wimberly, however, pointed out the Federal Aviation Agency (FFA) and the DOTD’s aviation division “was frowning on agreements made years ago,” when prior Juries approved long term, rent-free leases based on the value of the hangars built by private citizens and turned over to parish ownership.
Juror Cade Benoit also countered that the fees would be used to offset maintenance expenses which he put at $90,000 a year.
Because the airport accepts funds from FFA and DOTD, Wimberly said the Jury was trying to abide by federal and state regulations.
Broussard cast the sole negative vote.
Jurors approved standard hangar and land use leases for any future airport tenants. Wimberly noted leases with current tenants would not be affected.
Broussard also cast the only no vote to the Jury’s decision to contribute $38,800 toward the cost of erecting interchange lights on I-10 at the Duson exit. Jurors Kermit Richard and Alton Stevenson voiced some objections, but did vote to contribute 50 percent of the $77,600 cost. Duson agreed to pay all operating costs and maintenance.
Jurors cancelled a $1,800 monthly contract with Karla Cormier & Associates for grant writing applications.
Jurors also halted the sale of alcoholic beverages at the Rice Arena.
The Jury also adopted a resolution asking DOTD to accept Port Road into the state road system. Members also authorized advertising for one, used motorgrader for the Iota Barn and instructed the road manager to set quotes to replace a bridge on Ellis Road with a rail car.
Jurors took the first step toward possible exappropriation of land along Morrow Road by adopting a resolution stating the road needed to be widened for safety concerns.
Jurors amended an ordinance requiring firms acquiring heavy load use permits to pay a guarantee deposit equal to 10 percent of the project costs or a minimum of $5,000. The deposit will be used to repair road damaged created by the heavy machinery.
Jurors voted to close the Rayne recycling center on Saturdays and hire two people at the Crowley recycling center and advertise that center will operate every Saturday.
Jurors agreed to seek bids for a courthouse security system estimated to cost between $60,00 and $65,000. A permanent committee, consisting of a district judge, sheriff’s office, Homeland Security director and Jury secretary-treasurer will oversee the security system.
Jurors approved several appointments, renaming Jeff Fontenot to the board of Fire District No. 6, reappointing Catherine LaComb to the Parish Planning Commission, and naming Delores Venable to replace the retiring Elaine Chatagnier on the Tourist Board.