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."
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.