I read The Tri Parish Times, The Gazette, and The Comet on line. All in my opinion are great newspapers. In the jeer section of Saturdays on line edition of the comet. I felt legitimate questions were raised along, with several inaccuracies.
I would like at this time to answer those questions and correct the mistakes.
The Wisner Foundation own no part of the property addressed in the jeer. The opinion that Fourchon should be developed by private entities sounds good, but in fact private entities will want to maximize profits, making Fourchon beach unaffordable to 95% of the people. The same people that have spent hundreds of millions accessing and protecting Fourchon beach.
Am I against private development of some areas of Fourchon?
No, I just want to make sure there are vast areas of Fourchon that will have affordable access, so the taxpayers will have the opportunity to get a bang for their buck.
As for the delay in the process, it is not for a lack of need or urgency. The commission made an offer to Caillouet land for the appraised value of the property. They were given ample time to respond and did not.
When the commission got no response I decided, after having been given authority to negotiate in behalf of the board, (with the board having to approve any compromises I may reach with the landowner of course).
So despite 5yrs. of fruitless negotiations I decided to try again because, the negotiator for the landowner had changed.
I talked to the D.A. and he felt it was a good idea, but could not get involved because the new negotiator was an Asst.D.A. I then asked our attorney to contact the negotiator, after at least four attempts he got no response. There is urgency and need for access, but the facts are, the construction of the Caminada Headlands project will not allow access till probably mid-2014. So there is still a small window of time for negotiations.
Can we afford it?
Thatâs a no brainer. The parishâs long range master plan calls for the development of tourism and ecotourism.
What other area in the parish can offer what the beach can?
Again, can we afford the opening of 12 miles of beautiful white sugar sand beach? Millions of dollars are being spent on promoting tourism in Lafourche, Terrebonne, and Jefferson parish. The opening of Fourchon beach would allow the region to offer tourist a continuing destination, not just a place to make a onetime visit.
This would have a tremendous economic impact on the region. Greatly increasing the sales tax base and hotel motel taxes. So yes, we can afford it. It would become a new economic engine for the region. So I would like the region to support the commissionâs effort. Lafourche has been very generous in assisting other parishes in the region, for example charity hospital in Terrebonne and sediment pipeline in Jefferson. Also nearly 6 million dollars on elevated highway one. This allows service companies in
Neighboring parishes to better access Port Fourchon.
People, does it make sense that half a billion dollars of your tax dollars will be spent on Fourchon beach between state and federal projects, and you would not be able to use it? This is not fair; I hope you agree with me. I hope The Comet; a great newspaper doesn't view this letter as an attempt to make them look bad, but only an attempt to inform them and the public as to certain facts about Fourchon beach.
I am signing this letter as a private citizen because I felt the need to respond quickly, and the commission doesn't meet till next month. After all the public needs to know the facts.
Please print my contact info so I can answer any questions.
985 677 0309
P.o. Box 141 Golden Meadow LA.70357