The Louisiana House of Representatives’ Natural Resources and Environment Committee this morning took an important step in the process for authorizing the sale of UL Lafayette’s horse farm acreage to the Community Foundation of Acadiana for development as a passive recreational park. The committee voted 11-2 for Lafayette state Rep. Joel Robideaux’s bill to authorize the president of the UL System to sell the state-owned land to any governmental entity or nonprofit corporation. Anonymous benefactors have offered to gift to the CFA $5.7 million for the purchase of the park if an equal amount can be raised for its development and ongoing maintenance.
Lafayette state Rep. Nancy Landry, who also serves on the committee, spoke in favor of the bill and the plan to convert the acreage to a passive park, a proposal that has garnered widespread support throughout the Acadiana community and also has the backing of the activist group Save the Horse Farm.
The plan was also strongly supported in committee by Bobby Badon of Carencro and Jack Montoucet of Crowley, according to Robideaux. Voting against the bill were Jerry Gisclair of Larose and Sam Little of Bastrop.
Robideaux believes Gisclair and Little may have been swayed by Harold Schoeffler, a local environmentalist/preservationist who attended the committee meeting and questioned the appraised value of the property. The 100-acre tract of undeveloped residential land was valued at $5.7 million in the past year by a state-approved MAI-certified appraiser. In a phone interview with The INDsider yesterday, Schoeffler mistakenly thought the front of the property was zoned commercially. When informed that the entire acreage is zoned for residential use, he still maintained that the university could get more money for the land.
“I’m not opposed to that property being a park,” Schoeffler said, noting that he wants the property to remain in the hands of the university or Lafayette Consolidated Government, rather than a private entity (i.e. the not for profit CFA), and has concerns about who will pay for maintaining it as a public park.
All of those details are still being worked through by the university, the CFA and LCG.
The bill should be taken up by the full House next week. Before it reaches the Senate, Robideaux plans to ask for co-authors and fully expects many more members of the Acadiana delegation to sign on to show their support for preserving the acreage as a central park for Lafayette.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
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.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
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 must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.
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.