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.
Breakfast favorites served on a bubbly crust pair with a crisp salad
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
West coast casual
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
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On Tuesday, a three judge panel (voting two to one) of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional Mississippi’s controversial law requiring that physicians who perform abortions maintain admitting privileges in a nearby hospital.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
A ballpark snack topped with BBQ meat can be found cruising town on a food truck
Times Square impersonator crackdown; Israel shells Gaza school; Russia hit with sanctions and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
If President Barack Obama’s poll numbers, and those for his health care law, haven’t yet bottomed out in the Bayou State, then Democrats surely don’t want to know what the statistical floor actually looks like.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
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The deadline to purchase tickets for the 2014 ABiz Top 50 Business Luncheon featuring top-selling author, political activist and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig is only two weeks away.
With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The investigation and potential prosecution of the man charged in the recent hit-and-run death of a Youngsville cyclist won’t happen overnight, according to local law enforcement officials.
Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.