CONVENT — The St. James Parish Council voted 7-0 to move forward with plans to expropriate 13 acres on three undeveloped tracts near the Convent Courthouse as a location for building a public community center and emergency supplies warehouse.
Parish Councilmen Jason Amato, Alvin St. Pierre, Terry McCreary, Jimmy Brazan, Ken Brass, Charles Ketchens and Ralph Patin supported the measure Wednesday night.
During a phone interview Thursday, parish spokeswoman Melissa Wilkins said three separate families own the land.
During a Parish Council meeting April 4, Parish Attorney Sid Marchand said the parish was seeking to buy two tracts of land, one valued between $80,000 and $110,000 and the other, smaller tract appraised at $22,000.
Parish President Timmy Roussel said during the April 4 meeting that parish officials and the property’s landowners had agreed upon an appraised value for the property, but the title insurance company requested that the parish use expropriation procedures to obtain the property because of the large number of possible heirs involved in the process.
Marchand had said there were nearly 100 heirs claiming rights to the tracts of land involved in the proposed acquisition.