The Gray Line Tour: The LAA project and sugar cane

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 24, 2002


One of the most controversial projects to hit southeast Louisiana is already stirring a hornet’s next, and I’m not talking pro basketball.

The Louisiana Airport plans for a major air cargo facility, linked with rail, highway and port facilities, to be located near Donaldsonville and White Castle, spurred local sugar growers into a war of words.

At the LAA’s meeting Thursday, a delegation of growers and other property owners voiced their unwavering opposition to a project they feel will destroy their generations-old way of life.

One Donaldsonville resident, Scott Falcon, told the LAA Thursday, “We are going to fight this, tooth and nail. You are all in for a really, really tough road.”

LAA Chairman Glen Smith said the project’s backers were pleased the project would “only” displace 900 people.

The battle lines have been drawn between an industry which generates millions of dollars for Louisiana and a transportation facility, also designed to bring millions to the area. No one can afford to be neutral.

LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur.