City grants access to Bayou Lafourche for city-owned property

Allison B. Hudson

The City Council held its regular meeting last Tuesday at 6 p.m. All members of the Council were present.

The Council granted the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District access to two city-owned properties to remove debris left from the effects of Hurricane Gustav.

The properties are at the Cy Bean Bridge just north of the Union Pacific railroad crossing in Donaldsonville, and the Sonic Bridge.

As a result of the hurricane, debris from the bottom of Bayou Lafourche was stirred up, causing concerns that the bayou, which serves as tap water to approximately 300,000 area residents primarily in Assumption and Terrebonne parishes, could be contaminated.

Dredging of the bayou, known as the Pilot Dredge Project, is under way and debris is being removed from the waterway.

Archie Chaisson, director of the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District, said the drinking water in the area served by the bayou is currently safe.

"There are no concerns with the quality of drinking water," Chaisson said.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan said the city is working daily to clean the city's part of the bayou.

"We are making progress but there's a long way to go," he said.

Also issue facing the City is that, debris workers will not pick up trees that are not damaged by Gustav.

In other news, the Mayor asked the Council to revisit the trailer zoning area, to see what changes need to be made. A meeting is scheduled at a later date to put a plan in action.

Also, Museum director, Kathe Hambrick, gave updates from the River Road African American Museum. Hambrick asked the Council to approve a 99-year lease, as opposed to the 25-year lease that the Museum currently has. The reason for the extension is to retrieve more grant money for the Museum. The Museum's Board of Directors is asking assistance from the National Trust and other officials.

"The 99-year lease will put the Museum in a much better place," said Hambrick. "The city should see the Museum as an asset to the community."

Hambrick also asked Councilman Emile Spano, District five, for his continued support by supplying a letter of his support for the Museum for the 99-year lease.

Hambrick explained that the expanded lease is necessary for both sites, the address at 511 Williams Street, which is the expansion site, and 406 Charles Street, which is the current site for the Museum.

"The Museum is an asset to this community," added Spano.

Council meetings are held every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at City Hall, and all meetings are open to the public, unless stated otherwise.