Parish Council accepts portion of La. 3066 into road system

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com
The family of the late Albertha Hasten, an Iberville Parish School Board member who passed away Nov. 19, was presented a proclamation by the Iberville Parish Council at its Dec. 18 meeting. Pictured from left is, Councilman Hunter Markins, Councilman Terry Bradford, Councilman Louis Kelly, Hasten’s granddaughter Emily Hasten, Hasten’s daughter-in-law April Hasten, Councilman Bart Morgan, Councilman Timothy Vallet, Hasten’s grandson Brock Hasten, Hasten’s son Wilbert Hasten III, Councilman Ed Reeves, Councilman Warren Taylor, Councilman Mitchel J. Ourso, Council Chairman Matthew Jewell, Councilman Leonard Jackson and Councilman Henry Scott. 

PLAQUEMINE - The Iberville Parish Council unanimously agreed to accept a portion of La. 3066 into the parish's road system from the state Department of Transportation and Development at its regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 18.

The decision will keep the White Castle ferry operating through the first-half of the upcoming year.

"If we agree with the design, they will build the road and the parish will take it over," Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso said.

Ourso said the road has been closed for approximately 12-15 years from Jack Miller Landing to Indian Village Bridge and the state, which ranks sixth in the nation in number of public roads, is trying to do away with a lot of them due to budget cuts.

"The White Castle ferry is on the chopping block," Ourso said. "This is a piece of bait to keep it open."

The resolution says that 3.18 miles of La. 3066 will become parish property after the DOTD has given the road a $10 million upgrade.

DOTD agreed to apply a roadway transfer credit of $1.4 million to the parish government to help fund the White Castle ferry's operation and maintenance costs, according to the resolution.

About $235,000 of the $1.4 million credit will apply toward the White Castle ferry's operating costs from January through June 2013, the resolution reads.

The remaining funds from the credit will go toward construction projects in the parish in the future that can't be identified any later than Dec. 31, 2014, the resolution states.

In other news, the council:

- Adopted an ordinance granting a utility servitude to the City of Plaquemine for providing utility services to the Iberville Parish Medical Facility to be located on La. 1.

- Approved a three-year contract to hire the Baxley & Associates accounting firm to perform the parish's annual audits.

- Adopted a resolution to name the Bayou Sorrel fire station on La. 75 in honor of José "Pepe" Alvarez , a volunteer firefighter who has worked on improving the area's fire rating.

- Authorized the administration to sell the parish's Agricultural Building, 23640 Peters St., to the Pendley, Baudin & Coffin law firm for $30,400.

- Adopted a resolution to permanently relocate voting precinct No. 23 at Parish Vo-Tech School to the Iberville Parish Council on Aging.

"We want to thank you for support on these resolutions," Ourso said. "We believe this will help move the parish forward."

Ourso also reported that the state legislature is "blowing the whole budget" to repave La. 1 from Plaquemine to White Castle. He said State Rep. Karen St. Germain managed to get 80 percent of the budget for the project.

Lastly, following adjournment, the board presented the family of the late Albertha Hasten, with a proclamation. Hasten passed away Nov. 19 after serving on the Iberville Parish School Board for the past 17 years.