Iberville Parish signs purchase agreement for medical facility

Staff reports

Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. announced today that Iberville Parish has signed a purchase agreement to buy 27.55 acres of property at the intersection of La. Hwy. 1 and Senator Gay Boulevard in Plaquemine for construction of a new medical facility.

“This is a great step forward on this project,” said Ourso. The parish is purchasing the property from Edward J. Gay Planting and Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and has until May of 2012 to finalize the purchase of the property. The purchase agreement calls for a purchase price of $1,080,000 or $40,000 per acre.

“This has been a complex agreement because we wanted to protect the medical facility for the future, add value to the long-standing St. Louis Subdivision next to the property, make sure Oschner Health Systems was satisfied with the property, and to address concerns of the Gay family,” Ourso said. “I’d like to thank the Gay family for agreeing to this new use of what has been their farmland.”

Ourso said the parish will proceed with mandated federal environmental and geotechnical impact assessments, and will also perform a drainage study to make sure the new facility does not adversely impact drainage in the area. These assessments will take approximately 90 days and are required because federal funding will be used for the purchase of the property and the construction of the emergency medical and ambulatory care facility.

Once those assessments are complete, the Louisiana Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit must approve the use of the property and the project. Iberville Parish and all of the municipalities in the parish received a total of $44 million in federal Hurricane Gustav recovery funds. The Iberville Parish Council’s share of the $44 million was $22 million, with the rest going to the municipalities. The parish will use all of its $22 million in funding to build and equip the emergency medical facility.

It is in negotiations with Oschner Health System to operate the emergency and ambulatory care center and provide all healthcare services. Prior to the execution of the definitive agreement, Iberville Parish and Oschner will come to agreement on the size of the facility to be built, the scope of the services to be delivered and the number of employees who will work at the facility.

Iberville Parish has been with a hospital facility since River West Medical Center closed in early 2009 following Hurricane Gustav in September 2008.