Land deal proposed for new fire station

The City Council has set its sights on a location for a possible new fire station.

City council members voted this week to look into a possible land swap, tasking City Attorney Chuck Long with researching the proposed trade of land parcels between the city and the Ascension Parish government.

Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said that the proposed deal calls for the city to acquire 2.9 acres along La. 3089 near the city limits, a location it has sought as a site for a new fire station.

In return, parish government would receive a 5-acre tract of land along Thibaut Drive, where it could place a new public works facility to serve the parish’s west bank, Aucoin said.

The city has been in talks with parish government for months in regard to acquiring land near the South Louisiana State Fairgrounds, which is owned by parish government.

Revenues collected from a renewed 10-year, 5-mill property tax for firefighting equipment and facilities will fund the new station, Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. said.

Parish government has sought to construct a new public works facility in the area, housing offices and equipment for easier transportation.

The Thibaut Drive property is part of a 750-acre tract of sugar-cane fields that was donated to the city and annexed in 2004, Sullivan said.

Other matters included:

YOUTH BASKETBALL: The volunteer head of the West Ascension Basketball Association told the council that he feels a lack of community support has hindered the success of the program.

The topic arose after council members discussed a perceived focus on the Biddy Basketball All-Stars postseason program, leading to an early start and end to the season.

Jason Worley said that Biddy All-Stars game requirements and a dwindling number of volunteers do not allow for the association to lengthen the regular season and offer more game opportunities.

“With the limited amount of people we have to help, we do the best we can,” he said. “We’ve talked about extending the regular season past All-Stars time, but it’s hard to do with limited support.”

Worley said he is working to find more avenues to both announce the start of registration and to spark more volunteer involvement.

“It’s my goal for the program to be successful, but it’s going to take more than us,” he said. “It starts at home.”