Transfer terminal rezoned

The East Feliciana Parish Planning and Zoning Commission, along with the Police Jury, approved light industrial zoning Thursday for a proposed truck transfer facility for petroleum products on U.S. 61.

The 27-acre tract is near the old Canadian National Railroad crossing on U.S. 61 and north of the Port Hudson area.

Murphy Energy Corp. plans to build a facility to unload petroleum products from 18-wheel tank trucks, store them and pump them through a 6-inch pipeline under the highway to the Colonial Pipeline Co. facility across the highway.

Murphy representative Shane Wittig said six or seven different finished petroleum products, such as additives, will be delivered to the facility and sent over to Colonial’s facility for interstate pipeline shipments.

Wittig estimated 30 trucks will visit the site daily, using an improved entrance where Port Hudson Baptist Church now has a private access drive to the highway. The driveway also connects to a parish street.

The site, owned by Leroy Harvey, of Jackson, borders a residential area with highway access through a public street south of the proposed entrance to the terminal.

Eight residents from the neighborhood attending the meeting asked questions about the company’s safety equipment, emergency alert mechanisms and other concerns, but none opposed the rezoning from a heavy commercial designation to light industrial.

Richard Oliveaux, who owns a nearby barbecue restaurant, said East Feliciana citizens should be proud that Murphy Energy chose to make an investment in the parish, offer jobs and add to the tax base.

“We’re on the forgotten side of the world,” Oliveaux said.

Wittig said company officials have discussed offering part of the property to the Pecan Grove Volunteer Fire Department as a possible fire station location.

In any event, the company will train local firefighters on the proper responses to emergencies at the facility and how the equipment operates, Wittig said.

Wittig said the facility will be operational in about 14 months and will employ 35 to 40 people.