Judge wants donated land returned

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 2004


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – A St. Charles Parish judge told the parish council Monday night that since the public has voted against supporting a Luling community center, he would like the 34 acres he donated for the center returned to him.

Edward A. Dufresne Jr., a judge for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the owner of Esperanza Land LLC told the council, the public has spoken through the Sept. 18 elections and that the issue of the community center is dead.

The judge said when he donated the land in 2001 there was a need.

However, he said parish citizens do not wish to pay tax dollars in order to support a community center.

Dufresne said individuals in the private sector have expressed to him an interest in privately financing a community center and that he would look into the matter. He said he thought the parish could really benefit from a center.

The original agreement for the donated land stipulated the parish had until 2007 to build a center on the property. If this was not accomplished, the land would revert back to its original owner.

Dufresne said he saw no reason to let the land “just sit” for the remaining two years of the agreement. He said this would only serve to grow weeds on the property.

He asked Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Vial and Parish Attorney Robert “Bobby” Raymond to take the proper steps in preparing the paperwork necessary for returning the property to him.

Dufresne said he would like the process to begin within the next few months.

Raymond said an ordinance recording the transaction was the best route to take because a property title was involved. He said once the ordinance is prepared, the council must vote to pass it.

Dufresne thanked Parish President Albert Laque and Information Officer Steve Sirmon for their help in trying to solidify a community center.

“I had hoped the issue would be brought up sooner than it was. I guess we could not have picked a more inopportune time because of present tax assessments and storm issues in the parish,” said Dufresne.