Becnel land offer to parish still under council review

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — Two days after the St. John the Baptist Parish Council meeting May 24, Attorney Daniel Becnel Jr. met with Parish President Nickie Monica in reference to the 20 acres of land he offered to the Parish for construction of a regional sewer plant.

The meeting was to discuss what exactly this offer included.

“The offer is made under the condition that a new administrative building is constructed,” Becnel said. “The parish needs a central location for the buildings.”

According to Becnel, Monica said he would have an answer “in a week or so.”

“I told Monica I would give him 14 days, ” Becnel said. “Then it’s off the table.”

Becnel said his main concern was a not regional sewer plant, but a new administration building.

“The Acuri Center doesn’t even have security,” Becnel said. “They have a coffee room for a holding cell. Anyone could go in there and shoot up everybody at any time. The new administrative buildings would be centrally located with the DA’s office, court services, and other administrative departments.”

Last November, Councilman Steve Lee was appointed to research for a new location for the administrative offices, which included purchase of the old K-Mart building on Airline Highway.

“Nothing has happened with that,” Lee said. “We are still involved in on-going discussions with Becnel and with the owners of the K-Mart building. If Becnel’s offer is as good as he says it is, then we are interested.”

Lee said he had a conversation with Becnel after the council meeting and said he would definitely consider Becnel’s offer, because the council has “an obligation to what is best for the Parish,” he said.

“We have a lot of property,” Lee said. “We have property we own, that was purchased inexpensively, but not of that property is a good location for an administrative building or a regional sewer plant.”

According to Lee it is not so much the location of all this, it is the total cost of the project.

“I was not involved with the meeting with Danny and Nickie,” Lee said. “But it just doesn’t make sense to put it by our administrative building. I will say though, I am willing to look at anything.”