Jurors consider airport leases


Managing Editor

Members of the Airport Advisory Comittee recommended a land use lease rate for 13 tenants operating at LeGros Memorial Airport during committee meetings Tuesday night of the Acadia Parish Police Jury.

The committee recommended

that tenants be charged seven cents per square foot. That fee was selected over other suggested lease rates of ten cents and 14 cents.

The rate was met with objections by Scott Schumacher of LeGros Aviation Services, Inc.

Schumacher contended the land appraisal submitted by a New Iberia consultant used the larger New Iberia Airport in the cost analysis, when it should have been based on smaller, rural airports.

“I don’t think that is fair,” said Schumacher, urging jurors to have the consultant revise his report before land use rates were set. The report, which cost $7,500, was presented to the Police Jury last month.

Advisory Committee Chairman Cade Benoit emphasized the land use and future hangar leases were being considered “to improve the airport,” which has no millage taxes or other revenues on which to operate.

Benoit pointed out, based on the seven cent rate, the largest land user would pay an annual feeof $500, while the smallest land user would pay $15.

According to information gathered by Jury Secretary-Treasuer Terry Lacombe, some tenants have leases extending 30 years with no rental fees while other tenants have not currently renewed ten year leases.

Jurors also learned that there is no lease for a house formerly occupied by an airport manager. The tenant is currently paying a month rent of $250.

The committee also asked Legal Counsel Doug Wimberly to develop a standard hangar lease for use at the parish airport.

Wimberly said he would created two proposed separate leases for land use and hangar rental.

Lacombe told jurors they had the option of using lease agreements or bidding out use of the land and buildings.

Members of the Legislative Committee recommended the Jury terminate its agreement with Grant Finders LLC d/b/a as Karla Cormier & Associates. At the July meeting, Juror Thomas Sonnier questioned the lack of grant results when compared to the monthly $1,800 fee.

Jurors also recommended the sale of alcohol be halted at the Acadia Rice Arena due to concerns about liability.

Jurors also discussed controlling concession stand sales, with some members suggesting the Jury solicit bids for the right to sell candies, drinks and sandwiches.

Jurors also recommended DOTD be asked to accept the new Port Road from U.S. 90 to the Mermentau Port into the state highway system. The road was constructed by the Mermentau River Harbor and Terminal District. Jurors hope that Port Road be extended northward and connect to Interstate 10.

Jurors also directed their attorney to prepare documents to expropriate property along Morrow Road in order to widen the road for public safety.

Jurors also agreed to obtain contractor bids to replace the closed Ellis Road bridge with two railcars.

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