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."
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.