Enterprise Boulevard on track for May start

Deidre Cruse

The state Office of Facilities Planning and Control has approved the bids and specifications for the construction of Enterprise Boulevard-South, clearing the way for the project to be advertised for bid this month, Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. told the POST/SOUTH Monday.

The new cross-town street will run Enterprise Boulevard-North at Enterprise Bridge on Bayou Road near the Iberville Parish Jail with Belleview Road at its intersection with Tenant Road. The road is expected to open the way for new commercial development in Plaquemine, particularly in the area of the Wal-Mart Super center.

The parish's legislative delegation was able to get money left over from Enterprise-North allocated for the new south portion of the road, but that meant the state agency had to approve the plans for the new construction, said Chief Administrative Officer Edward A. “Lucky” Songy Jr.

The project must be bid for 30 days, Ourso said. After parish officials review the bids, they will have to submit them to Facilities Planning for further approval.

“Hopefully, we'll get some construction by May,” the parish president said.

Construction is expected to take six months.

North Iberville Projects

At the Parish Council meeting last night, Ourso announced the grand opening of the new Welcome Center at Grosse Tete on March 19. The center will open to visitors on Monday.

The parish is continuing legal action against a leaseholder to gain access to property it purchased for the North Iberville Community Center, the parish president said.

“The design is just about wrapped up,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be cleared up in a month or so, so we can put the project out for bid.”

Potential Hospital Acquisition

Songy is investigating firms specializing in appraising hospital facilities as the parish continues to explore the possibility of taking over the old River West Medical Center from the group of local doctors that purchased the facility.

Parish ownership of the facility might make it easier to get federal hurricane recovery money to repair the building.

“If we're going to ultimately purchase the facility, the [Louisiana Recovery Authority] is going to require an evaluation of the property, Songy said.

River Road Truck Traffic

Ourso promised Councilman Salaris Butler of Seymourville that he would ask a representative from the state highway department to attend the March 16 council meeting to discuss controlling truck traffic on River Road near the Plaquemine Ferry Landing.

“When it was designed, the typical traffic was probably a horse and buggy,” Butler said.

Butler said he has lived near the curve for 20 years watching truck traffic grow more dangerous. Recently, a truck that turned onto Lindburg Street tore down the telephone and cable lines in the area.

The situation is likely to worsen with SNF opens the plant under construction near the Shintech facility south of Plaquemine, the councilman said.

Sales Taxes

Parish Finance Director Randall W. Dunn said sales tax revenues were up in January because of $1.6 million in audit settlements.

The Sales Tax Department reported collections of $5.63 million in January, nearly $600,000 higher than in January 2009.

Dunn has projected sales taxes would drop this year as the industrial construction projects that have driven them to record levels are finished.