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Pipeline approved by St. Charles council

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / February 18, 1998

HAHNVILLE – The St. Charles Parish Council approved a letter of noobjection to the Koch Pipeline project, which involves the installation of a 12-inch natural gas pipeline through St. Charles Parish. The 7-2 vote went against the wishes of a handful of residents in Montz and Killona, including a blind woman who will have to contend with the pipeline being 50 feet from her front door.

Janice Etienne lives next door to Entergy’s Little Gypsy power plant on the upriver side and has lived there since 1973.

“My land is right there!” she commented after the decision.””I’ve always stood opposed to it,” added her son, Raymond.

The pipeline is one link of a 205-mile pipeline which will pass through Belle Rose in Assumption Parish, through St. James, St. John the Baptist,St. Charles, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes and on to Bayou La Baterein Mobile County, Ala.

Kevin Royal of Montz called the compensation offered by Koch for the right-of-way”a joke.” He added, “I merely want to be treated fairly.”Parish Councilman Dickie Duhe, whose district includes Montz, said 64 percent of the affected families have signed on for the pipeline agreement and called it “an unfortunate situation,” as the matter is dividing families.

Parish Councilmen Curtis Johnson and Ellis Alexander voted against the letter of no objection. Johnson observed, “The Corps (of Engineers) usuallydoes what they want anyway.”Alexander stated he would vote against it because of the families’ fears.

Also at the meeting, the Parish Council approved a resolution which called for a west bank bicycle path along the Mississippi River levee, extending from Jefferson to St. John the Baptist parishes. The resolution also askedfor either funding or in-kind services from the Lafourche Basin Levee District.

Proposed by Alexander, the idea drew quick approval, except from Parish Councilman Barry Minnich, who said he feared the project would detract from the West Bank Hurricane Protection Levee, which is being supported by the levee district.

A resolution calling for establishment of a “Historic Batture District” between Ormond Boulevard and Destrehan Manor was tabled to the Department of Planning and Zoning for further study. The intent of theresolution, according to Johnson, is to ban river industry activity such as barge mooring in the river section to protect historical and cultural landmarks.

These landmarks include Destrehan Manor, Ormond Plantation, St. CharlesBorromeo Catholic Church and Cemetery and the St. Charles Parish LibraryEast Regional branch.

The proposal is also aimed at protecting area residents who would have to endure a 72-barge mooring operation being proposed by Tulane Fleeting.

Area residents have signed petitions in opposition and cited noise and late-night lights which would detract from the area.

A resolution calling for a traffic study toward the installation of a traffic light between Ormond Boulevard and Interstate 310 along River Road quickly grew to a parishwide traffic study, following discussion at a Public Safety Committee meeting, held prior to the Parish Council meeting.

In that committee meeting, Parish Councilman Bill Sirmon and Ellis Alexander came to an agreement regarding the study, just so long as it includes traffic concerns on the west bank as well as the east bank.

Problem areas cited included the intersection with Longview Drive at Red Church Subdivision, U.S. Highway 90 at Willowdale Boulevard, BayouGauche Road and at Hahnville High School and turn lanes on the east bank River Road and through Paradis.

Johnson, during the committee meeting, proposed the parish conduct their own independent study then present the findings to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to push for action by the state.

Among ordinances introduced for public hearing at the March 9 meeting is one for the construction of the $1 million Bayou Gauche sewer system with Allen & LeBlanc Inc. The project is to be completed in six months.

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