Schmidt says he wants to ask Authement for a 180-day due diligence period, in which the TPL will pay for the horse farm's new appraisal, title clearance and related matters. During that time, Schmidt's organization would work out an agreement with Lafayette Consolidated Government (or the entity that would ultimately own the property) and then finalize the terms of the transaction with Authement. In a nutshell, the trust would buy the land (a 20 percent down payment is required), and hold it until the city-parish can pay for it. "The funding scenario has yet to be determined," says Schmidt, who will be in town Friday to discuss the matter with Save the Horse Farm members, community leaders and City-Parish President Joey Durel.
"I am anxious to hear what they have to say," notes Durel, who has maintained an interest in the property but says LCG has no funding for it. "I agree we're never going to have this chance again."
Schmidt explains that the TPL would put its resources and expertise into solving the funding issue by exploring a number of sources, including federal grants, philanthropic donations, fund raising efforts, monies or a partial land swap from local government, as well as the option of selling some lots for residential development. "It can be a combination of ways to address funding," he says.
Established in 1972, the TPL has helped protect more than 2 million acres of land in 47 states in much the same fashion.
Friday's meeting will be held at 11 a.m. at Lafayette attorney Glenn Armentor's downtown office. A scheduling conflict may prevent Armentor from attending, but the prominent local lawyer is a staunch supporter of the community effort. "I'm a million percent for saving that horse farm," Armentor says.
In light of the TPL's interest, Save the Horse Farm is anticipating similar support from a broader base of community leaders. The group had a handful of architecture students work on a preliminary design for the park ' so that residents can get an idea of what's envisioned and to help with the fund raising effort ' and recently established a greenspace fund with the Community Foundation of Acadiana.
Save the Horse Farm understands the need to act quickly.
On the evening of April 27, just hours after announcing his retirement, Authement told KATC-TV3 that the horse farm property is a liability and he intends to sell it. "It's a very valuable piece of property; I now have four solid offers for the property. If it sold, however, it would have to go out for bids," he said to reporter David D'Aquin. "Potential buyers include a developer who wants to build upscale homes on the land and an individual who wants to buy the entire horse farm to build a single, private residence on it," Authement continued.
However, Schmidt says he does not think the property has to go out for bid if the TPL offers a fair market price to the university after the property has been independently appraised. Jerry Jones, director of the state's Office of Facility Planning and Control, says any agreement to sell the property to LCG or the TPL would, instead, likely require legislative authorization. "Otherwise, it may have to be bid," Jones explains.
Standing just outside of the gate to the horse farm property Monday, where she watched bulldozers crush the old red dairy barn to rubble at Authement's request, Save the Horse Farm co-founder Danica Adams says her grassroots organization is optimistic about the outcome of Friday's meeting.
"We can't be distracted by this setback," Adams says of the barn, which was torn down despite overwhelming opposition by the community and state legislators Mike Michot and Joel Robideaux, who represent residents in the horse farm area. "Authement has said that he would entertain our proposal first, so we're holding him to that," Adams says. "What we need to do is get a proposal on his desk as soon as possible."
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, April 17, 2014:
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.