Greyhound settlement up for approval

The former IberiaBank building on Moss Street would be purchased from Greyhound as part of a settlement with the bus line, city-parish President Joey Durel said Friday. The new Greyhound station would be in the Rosa Parks Transportation center downtown and the former bank location would become a police precinct station, he said. Show caption
The former IberiaBank building on Moss Street would be purchased from Greyhound as part of a settlement with the bus line, city-parish President Joey Durel said Friday. The new Greyhound station would be in the Rosa Parks Transportation center downtown and the former bank location would become a police precinct station, he said.

LAFAYETTE — A pending legal settlement over the City-Parish Council’s move to block a Greyhound bus station on Moss Street calls for the city to purchase the site of the planned station and give the bus company free space at a city facility.

The total value of the city’s obligations under the settlement would be $570,094, which includes the property purchase and a credit for 20 years worth of lease payments for a new bus station at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center downtown, according to documents filed with the council office this week.

City-Parish President Joey Durel said Friday that the government plans to renovate an old bank building on the Moss Street property for use as a police precinct.

He said the council’s decision to block Greyhound’s plans prompted litigation that the city would “very possibly lose” and the proposed settlement is an effort to “turn lemons into champagne.”

The settlement, which must be approved by the council, comes in a dispute over Greyhound’s planned Moss Street location that has festered since 2008.

Greyhound bought the old IberiaBank branch on the corner of Moss and Matthieu streets in 2007 and planned to move its Lafayette bus station there from the current site on Lee Avenue downtown.

The council in 2007 approved a zoning change needed to allow a bus station to locate on Moss Street, an unpopular decision with nearby residents and business owners who complained of increased noise and traffic.

The elections of 2007 brought in a council of mostly new members, and the new council overturned the zoning change, effectively blocking Greyhound’s plan to move.

The bus company responded with a lawsuit seeking to force city-parish government to allow the new bus station to go forward.

The proposed settlement, which is scheduled to come before the council on Oct. 4, would cover the $355,000 that Greyhound paid on the Moss Street property and $185,094 the company spent on improvements there.

Half of the total $540,094 would be paid in cash to Greyhound upon the sale of the Moss Street property to city-parish government and the other half would go toward a credit for 20 years worth of lease payments for 1,775 square feet of space at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center.

The settlement also would require city-parish government to spend up to $30,000 to renovate a portion of the Rosa Parks facility for use as a bus station.

The city-owned facility already serves as a home for the municipal bus service, the downtown post office, an Amtrak station, and Lafayette’s Traffic and Transportation Department.

As part of the settlement, city-parish government will be given first right of refusal to purchase the property where the existing Greyhound station is on Lee Avenue.

Durel said there are no current plans for the property, but he wanted to ensure that city-parish government has some control over what might take shape there.

“We just want to make sure that it helps improve downtown and not go in the other direction,” he said.