Council denies surplus property sale to LLC

Jul 22nd, 2013 | By | Category: News

The parish approved the sale of four surplus properties to adjacent land owners. However a fifth property sale was denied by council members. The difference, four were to residential owners, and the fifth was to an LLC.

The Parish Council unanimously authorized the following property sales at Tuesday’s meeting:
• 3725 Volpe Drive to
Kenny and Dana Farmer,
• 1916 Michelle Drive to
Rose Lea Lepine,
• 2332 Marietta to Darlene
McCormick, and
• 2508 Margaret Lane to
Brandon Maxwell.

After all of these approvals were granted, the council decided to deny the sale of 554 Lebeau Avenue to Delta Investments #3 LLC, with a 3-2 vote— the Council requires a two thirds vote to approve a motion, but two members were missing. Councilman- at-Large East Guy McInnis, and Councilman Casey Hunnicutt of District D went against the measure, while Council Chairman George Cavignac and Councilman Nathan Gorbaty of District B were not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We can’t be sure if [Delta Investments] is the one who is actually maintaining the property next door,” said Hunnicutt. “That’s why I voted against this. However, we can always bring this before the council again if [Delta Investments] can prove that they were maintaining the property next door.”

As part of the Parish’s Lot Next Door program interested property owners are eligible to buy a Parish owned adjacent property if they meet the requirements: The property owner must be able prove that they have been maintaing the adjoining property for at least one year and pay the Parish-set purchase price of $1,000.

But is there a difference between a resident  living next door and an investment company who bought neighboring lots post-Katrina.

The Parish’s attorney William McGuey explained to the Council that the state statute does not differentiate between persons and businesses, as long as they are the adjoining land owner and meet the above requirements.

“This [program] was obviously intended for a property owner with homestead exemption,” said McInnis, “and we don’t know who kept up that property.”

In other Council news
• The Council tabled an ordinance that would portray the Parish as being in favor of the State’s Coastal Master Plan.

“By approving this, we would be saying that we are in favor of diversions,” said Councilman Monty Montelongo of District E, “and we don’t want that.”

At a previous meeting the Council passed a resolution of opposition towards the construction of any diversions until more scientific evidence on the subject can be provided. Councilman McInnis said that the State and Parish Master Plans are similar, “but we want to build outside barriers, which isn’t part of their plan.” This measure will be taken up again at the August 6 meeting.

• The Council passes a resolution 5-0, which states that removing an abandoned stretch of railroad between Poydras Junction and Toca will not have any impact on federal flood control structures. This came at the request of the Alabama Great Southern Railway Company, who began their abandoning process in 2006.

“There were a few hold-ups because the federal government needed to be assured that
the removal of these tracks would not affect federal flood control structures,” said Jerry Graves Jr., the Parish’s Chief Administrative Officer.

• The Council adopted a resolution that allows the Parish President to submit a grant application to the Louisiana Housing Authority, under the 2013 Emergency Solutions Grants Program to benefit the St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program.

• The Council introduced an ordinance that would require the Council to receive notifications
whenever public records are requested, as well as a second notification with the response to the request.

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