St. Charles holding more barge talks

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 8, 2008


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – Residents of Destrehan and surrounding areas are invited to attend a town hall meeting this Wednesday night regarding controversial changes to a barge fleeting area in the Ormond community.

Representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers will be on hand to answer questions and listen to concerns from citizens over Magnolia Fleet LLC’s plans to add a parking lot and more barges to its operations along the Mississippi River. The town hall will also address an access ramp over the levee in the area.

The meeting, sponsored by District 3 Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto, will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the grand ballroom of Ormond Country Club, located at #10 Villere Dr., Destrehan.

“It is just an opportunity for us to get more input on how citizens and agencies in that area might be affected by the proposed changes,” said Benedetto.

Benedetto said she has extended invites to all St. Charles Council members, as well as U.S. Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu and U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon. Benedetto said, however, that she was not sure if any representatives from Magnolia Fleet would be in attendance.

“They are certainly more than welcome to come,” she said. “It would make it a lot easier on us.”  

The St. Charles Parish Council voted this past Monday to strongly oppose the proposed changes to the barge fleeting area, and several residents near the facility spoke out against the plans. Residents brought up everything from levee integrity to concerns about potential toxins being carried by the barges being docked at the facility.