Lafayette city-parish poised to settle over blocked project

A settlement is pending in litigation over the City-Parish Council’s move in 2011 to block a controversial garbage transfer station just outside the city limits on Sunbeam Lane.

The council voted 7-2 Tuesday night to approve a partial settlement in the case, though council members and the administration have declined to comment on the details.

The development company that planned to build the facility had at one time demanded nearly $7 million from city-parish government.

“I really can’t say anything about it until we are further down the road,” City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert said Wednesday when asked about the settlement.

The council voted unanimously in October 2011 to block the planned garbage transfer station in north Lafayette at the urging of residents and business owners in the area.

The developer of the site, Waste Facilities of Lafayette, had already purchased the property, obtained necessary permits and had begun construction when the council voted to halt the project.

Hebert had warned council members before the October 2011 vote that killing the project would open city-parish government to “substantial liability” for its losses, which, he said, could possibly extend into the “millions of dollars.”

Waste Facilities and the garbage company that planned to lease it, Progressive Waste Solutions of LA, both filed lawsuits against city-parish government seeking damages for money that had already been spent for the facility, lost profits and legal fees.

City-parish officials did not identify whether the developer or the garbage company or both are involved in the settlement, but court records in the lawsuit indicate the pending settlement is with developer Waste Facilities and not Progressive Waste.

Waste Facilities sent a demand letter to city-parish government before the lawsuit was filed asking for $6.9 million.

Voting to approve the settlement Tuesday were councilmen Brandon Shelvin, Kevin Naquin, Jay Castille, Kenneth Boudreaux, Andy Naquin, Donald Bertrand and Keith Patin.

Councilmen William Theriot and Jared Bellard voted against the settlement.