Jurors seek economic grants to pave road near Canal Refinery
By PAUL KEDINGER
Members of the Acadia Parish Police Jury responded enthusiastically Wednesday night to a request to blacktop St. Raphael Road adjoining the Canal Refinery plant of Church Point.
Lawrence Villermin, the plant’s refining manager, spoke about expanding production at the facility as he asked jurors to pave approximately one mile of the road.
He citing increasing traffic and problems associated with dust churned up by travelers. He reported he has counted as many as 250 vehicles traveling on the road daily.
Villermin also inquired about the Jury shifting the road, stating he would donate the land for a new roadway.
Villermin reported the plant’s original owner, Canal Refining Company, re-acquired the facility Dec. 1, 2010, and is in the process over a four- month period of restarting production of gasoline and other petroleum products. He estimated production may restart by mid-July. The refinery was built in 1941.
The refining manager told jurors he is currently only blending fuel at the plant’s tank farm and hopes to greatly increase the plant’s production.
Though jurors doubted they could afford to construct a new roadbed, they quickly directed Parish Road Manger Michael “Pee Wee” Schexnider to inspect the road and lay down an emulsifier mixture to control the dust.
Jurors also discussed chip-sealing the road, estimated to cost $250,000.
The cost of blacktopping the one mile section was estimated at $1 million.
Jurors agreed with a suggestion from John Quebodeaux to approach area legislators about the possibility of securing economic grants to fund the paving project.
The cost of the paving would be quickly repaid from anticipated increased tax revenues. It was pointed out the Church Point facility has retained all of its production permits.
Escalating cost of petroleum based products prompted jurors to approve an addendum to a liner installation project at the parish landfill in Egan.
Engineer Brett Bayard with Mader Engineering explained mushrooming oil prices may greatly inflate the cost of the plastic liner, if it were to be purchased when needed in the fall.
Normally, a contractor is paid for material and installation jointly. At Bayard’s recommendation, jurors agreed to permit the contractor to purchase the liner material now and store it on Jury property until needed. The contractor will be responsible for properly maintaining the liner material valued at $500,000.
Following a lengthy effort to understand two different bid proposals for third party providers to conduct plan reviews and inspections under the Louisiana Uniform Construction Code, jurors decided to table action and ask the bidders to prepare bids based on the same services.
While Rodney Richard of Building Code Inspection Services proposed a series of 12 inspections and plan review, Architect Ron Lawson, the parish’s current certified building provider, submitted a bid consisting of seven inspections.
After attempting to compare the bids based on square footage, Jury President A.J. “Jay” Credeur echoed the sentiment of fellow jurors for an “apples to apples” evaluation, based on the same number of inspections and square footage.
Juror approved the purchase of flood prone property at 226 Marie Street in Church Point from John Thibodeaux for $60,000. FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds will be used to purchase the property.
A procedure for the sale of property adjudicated for unpaid taxes was adopted by the Jury after members approved a $75 fee from any potential purchaser interested in buying the property from the Police Jury.
Jurors approved emergency evacuation procedures for the parish courthouse and established a cost of $20 for each identification badges provided courthouse workers, along with a $10 replacement fee.
Lee Hebert told jurors the process of installing security equipment has begun.
When completed, the public will enter the courthouse through a metal detector installed at the front entrance. Courthouse workers will enter by swiping coded ID badges at other entrances.
Jurors adopted a resolution in support of retaining Lake Charles in the same congressional district as Lafayette.
By unanimous vote, jurors adopted resolutions commending Wallace LeBlance and Raymond Breaux on their retirement after many years of service to Acadia Parish. The resolutions will be formally presented to the two retirees at a future Jury meeting.