Norco industries set up community fund

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 5, 2001


PHOTO: ONE MILLION DOLLARS is donated by Shell Chemical and Motiva Enterprises to establish the Norco Community Fund, a permanent endowment for community improvement. From left, Shell Chemical Site Manager Wayne Pearce, Clyde Taylor, Motiva manager Allen Kirkley, Sal Dirirolamo, Glenn Cain, David Brignac, Ralph Miller, Betty Lynn McHam of the Shell Oil Foundation, Alice St. Ament, Lorita Jenkins and Debbie Weber. Absent from the photo is advisory committee member Michael Haydel. NORCO – A million-dollar fund has been established to improve the quality of life in Norco, funded by local industry and with the oversight of local residents. The nine-member panel includes two Diamond Plantation residents, interested in remaining in Norco and improving the town. The Norco Community Fund, established by Shell Chemical and Motiva Enterprises, is established as a permanent endowment at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, whose purpose is to build permanent endowments and generate the highest safe return on the community’s financial resources. Shell Chemical and Motiva each made a $500,000 donation to establish the fund, but will have no say as to how the funds are used. “It’s for projects the community decides they want to do in Norco,” said Lilly Galland for Shell Chemical, and cited such areas as education and recreation. She added this is a part of the industry’s Good Neighbor Initiative established in 2000, and she wanted to make sure Diamond is well represented. “It won’t be Shell or Motiva making the decisions, it will be the community,” Galland said. Recently, Diamond Plantation residents who are members of Concerned Citizens of Norco, have called for a buyout of the four-street neighborhood adjoining Shell Chemical, citing long-standing environmental abuses. Members of the nine-member panel include David Brignac, Glenn Cain, Sal Digirolamo, Michael Haydel, Lorita Jenkins, Ralph Miller, Alice St. Ament, Clyde Taylor and Debbie Weber. Brignac represents Shell, and Cain represents Motiva on the panel. Digirolamo represents the Norco Civic Organization. Haydel operates Haydel Furniture. St. Ament is a past present of Bonnet Carre Garden Club. Taylor, a St. Charles Parish deputy, is a resource officer for St. Charles Parish Schools. Jenkins heads a tutoring program and also works with the local elderly through her church. Weber is a past president of the Sacred Heart PTA. Miller is a retired attorney and past state representative. Jenkins and Taylor are both Diamond residents. Galland added that no members of Concerned Citizens of Norco were named members “because they want to leave Norco, not help it.”