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."
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.