Old post office building donated to Plaquemine

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

The City of Plaquemine last week took possession of the old U. S. Post Office building on Main Street, a donation valued at $160,000 or more from the heirs to the property.

“We got the donation today,” Mayor Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta told the Board of Selectmen last Tuesday. “It is city property.”

The building's future will be as a storage facility for city records and eventually as the city warehouse with offices for the city inspector, the mayor said. The building as a good loading dock that would be convenient for city crews, he said.

“We could use the old warehouse for storage,” Gulotta said. “We are in desperate need of a new inspector's office for the new mapping system. It's a good place for that.”

He said the property next door has been donated to Habitat for Humanity. He planned to meet with Habitat officials to see if the city could arrange a property trade to provide extra space for the warehouse activities.

The building, abandoned a decade or so ago when the new post office opened on Railroad Avenue, “is a lot nicer building than I thought,” he said.

A new roof has been priced at $38,000, and the city is getting an estimate on air conditioning, the mayor said.

Brothers Michael and Marcus Kittman of Covington donated the property to the city.

The city council also is looking to acquire the old Woodman of the World building across the street from Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park to use as a storage area for the park. Gulotta estimated the property, at 23265 Short Street, would cost the city $18,000 to $19,000.

The city also wants to acquire a piece of property at 58805 Allen Street as a right of way for a major water line that runs under the now-dilapidated house there, the mayor said.

The parish built the water line in the 1950s, long before the area was annexed into Plaquemine, he said; the city did not know about the line until there was a problem with it a year and a half ago.

“Now that we know about it, we have to do something,” Gulotta said, because of the liability issues.