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Civic center project could be halted

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / March 7, 1998

HAHNVILLE – It’s come down to do-or-die for the proposed civic center project in St. Charles Parish after 10 years of study. A parish councilmanis asking for a council position on the matter at Monday’s meeting of the St. Charles Parish Council.Councilman Barry Minnich, a staunch opponent of the civic center project, will ask for a halt on all efforts to gain Capital Outlay funding and instead pursue such funds for the parish’s wastewater treatment facilities.

A civic center committee was first formed on April 15, 1991, but was unable to accomplish much as several members were running for office in the fall elections. That committee was soon disbanded by the incomingParish Council in 1992. A second committee to develop a feasibility studyfor the project was formed on May 17, 1993.

That second committee, chaired by Carole Schonberg, delivered the study in March 1996, which said the project was feasible despite an estimated annual operating deficit of $120,000 per year for 20 years.

The Parish Council then pursued funding for a fairgrounds only and considered the purchase of land for the project, receiving several proposals from Killona to Paradis, but especially near Interstate 310.

On Oct. 7, 1996, the Parish Council requested $2.6 million from the stateCapital Outlay program toward land acquisition, planning and construction.

On July 28, 1997, the parish was notified funding to the tune of $6.1million was approved; however, the project was not funded. St. CharlesParish resubmitted its request for $7 million, along with a funding request of $2.1 million for a new health unit and $6.3 million forwastewater rehab work.

Also on Monday’s agenda: * Approval of a request for state Capital Outlay funding for a sewer force main project, from Ama to Luling, in the amount of $1.4 million, to bematched by $182,000 in local funds.

* Approval of street repairs by T.L. James and Co. for $1 million.* Approval of a contract with Bartlett Construction for an addition to the Cousins Canal pump station, in the amount of $827,000.

* Approval of an intergovernmental agreement to house St. Charles Parishprisoners at the Sherman Walker Correctional Center in LaPlace.

* Approval of a contract with Allen and LeBlanc Inc. for the constructionof the Bayou Gauche sewerage system, in the amount of $1 million.

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