West Bank lacks splash: Councilman criticizes recreational options

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016

EDGARD — District A Councilman Larry Sorapuru Jr. is questioning why there is no splash park on the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish.

Larry Sorapuru Jr.

Larry Sorapuru Jr.

During last week’s Parish Council meeting in Edgard, Sorapuru said his constituents have complained that two splash parks are already operational on the East Bank.

Parish President Natalie Robottom responded by saying residents throughout the parish had the opportunity to present a wish list of recreational items during meetings and a West Bank splash park was not suggested.

Recreational Improve-ments being financed by bond money are part of a master plan that residents had input in designing.

“We are hoping at some point to get some additional dollars,” Robottom said, reiterating it was not part of the master plan.

West Bank resident Chermaine Roybiskie said she initially brought the idea of a splash park to the administration “six to seven years ago, but nobody seemed to have an idea what a splash park was.”

“I was told don’t ask for a splash park,” Roybiskie said. “The West Bank has just as much right to enjoy some of the amenities as others. The west bank has to always be the one at the end of the totem pole.”

Sorapuru asked Parish Officials to put a splash park “at the top of the list for funding” in the next budget cycle.

In other business, Parish Council members entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office for remote access to cameras located in parish parks to prevent vandalism and property damage. Director of Emergency Preparedness Jobe Boucvalt said the fees associated with the monitoring system would be paid for by the recreation department.

Sorapuru inquired about the possibility of installing cameras at the parish’s two water treatment plants but was informed that would involve a separate agreement since the playground fees are being paid by the recreation department.

— By Richard Meek