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Council opposes Jefferson Parish’s participation on airport committee

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / September 23, 1998

HAHNVILLE – A joint meeting of representatives from the St. CharlesParish Council and the city councils of Kenner and New Orleans is set Thursday, but the gloves are already off.

The Kenner City Council, through a resolution introduced by St. CharlesParish Councilman G. “Ram” Ramchandran, asked for approval ofrepresentatives of the Jefferson Parish Council to join the Joint Airport Committee.

“I don’t think Jefferson Parish for one second has the best interests of St. Charles Parish at heart,” Parish Councilman Barry Minnich declared.

“Tim Coulon (Jefferson Parish President) and Aaron Broussard (Jefferson Council Chairman) twice tried to put the screws to us with the Waterford 3 tax.”The meeting is set Thursday at 6 p.m. in the New Orleans Aviation Boardroom at New Orleans International Airport.

Due to attend from St. Charles Parish are Ramchandran and ParishCouncilmen Brian Champagne and Curtis Johnson. Alternate members areMinnich, Ron Phillips and Ellis Alexander.

The resolution noted that on Dec. 8, 1997, the New Orleans and Kenner citycouncils met on the issue of airport expansion and future development. OnJan. 26, 1998, the two councils met jointly at Destrehan High School withthe St. Charles Parish Council.At that meeting the Joint Airport Committee was forged to exchange information and discuss issues. One of the biggest issues being discussedis the proposed north-south runway, to be built entirely in St. CharlesParish, with flying over the towns of St. Rose and Ama.The issue has met with protests from both areas and, as noted by Parish President Chris Tregre, development at James Business Park has already been stalled because of Federal Aviation Administration restrictions should the new runway be built.

On Aug. 21, the Kenner City Council asked if Jefferson Parish officialscould sit on the Joint Committee.

“I’m leery of the motive,” Johnson said. “My thing is to tell them no.”Tregre added, “This is strictly between us and New Orleans.”The resolution passed but only after being changed to read as a resolution in opposition to Jefferson Parish joining the committee.

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