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.
Newcomer to Top 50 among five companies selected for Naval contract
INDstyle 2014 brings down house
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — were released by the U.S. Labor Department.
Texas declined by five rigs, West Virginia dropped three and Louisiana was down two.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
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A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
We’re in the second year of the second term of the first black president of the United States. And so it might seem that as Americans, as a nation, we have come a long way. And perhaps we have. But the recent killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., left me angry and sad. Here we go again, I thought.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a federal safety board's right to investigate the role of Transocean Deepwater Drilling Corp. in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
In what world does it make sense to balance the budget for a public school system by cutting schools from the poorest neighborhoods?
A supporter of a lawsuit against the oil industry has been re-nominated to a seat on a south Louisiana flood control board despite opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal.
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
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D.A. Mike Harson gets a gift from a federal judge as he tries to hang onto his job.
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In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
The nominating committee for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East was set Thursday to nominate applicants for two people on the board whose terms have expired.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
Restaurant could see ‘a little facelift,’ Bobby Butcher tells Daily Report.