Land for post office wanted in St. James

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / May 19, 2000

VACHERIE – Advertising for bids on a new post office in the town of St.

James, Kenneth Wood, real estate specialist from Dallas, presented the plan for the new post office at a public hearing before the St. James Councilmeeting on Monday.

“People with the best sites or locations may be out of state, living in another parish or residing in a nursing home,” said Wood. He asked the citizenspresent to spread the word, so the best and most centrally located property may be found.

The new post office already designed will be 2,571 square feet, with two entrances and handicap-accessible facilities. The site Wood is looking for atbest would be 40,000 square feet, in almost any dimension. Wood suggestedthat anyone interested in sending a bid for their property give the post office a call, or send a postcard with a picture or description of the site.

Woods will begin accepting the bids in 30 days, after their allotted time to receive public comment on the matter.

When a site is chosen, bids will then be accepted for the construction of the office. The builders will also buying the property, which will then be leased tothe post office. Wood assured that if a property owner wished to bid on thecontracting of the office, they may do that and retain the property. He alsoassured that if a person had an existing building that could be expanded, the postal service would take that into consideration as well. When all the bidshave been excepted, the actual building of the new St. James Post Officeshould take only 150 days, said Wood.

The new ordinance amending current utilities laws was also discussed at public hearing. The ordinance, passed later in the council meeting, solidifiedprices and structured new fines regarding illegal connections and such.

The main additions to the law makes “grandfathering” water meters illegal, Director of Operations Jody Chenier said. The term describes runningmultiple residences or businesses running on one water meter. The parishbills the solid waste fees to those registered as using the water meters, so some structures are not currently billed properly for their trash collection.

The fines for illegal connections, unauthorized water tapping or have unauthorized service is not less than $400 nor more that $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days. Anyone allowing the above actions canalso be fined for not less than $200. The parish hopes that this newordinance will make sure that everyone is billed for their water and trash collection properly.

In other news, The News Examiner was given the contract as the official journal of the St. James Parish Council.A resolution was passed approving the Work force Development Grant of CS Metals. The grant given by the state will be routed through the parishgovernment, which will monitor the training of CS Metals workers and their adherence to the requirements of the grant.

President Dale Hymel Jr. reported that the business incubator starting inVacherie is continuing well with the finalization of the lease being drafted currently. The incubator gives small businesses a chance to receive parishsupport as they begin their businesses. The incubator will house variousbusinesses, at the old River Region Hospital facility on Louisiana Highway 20.

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