PLAQUEMINE — The Iberville Parish Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to accept a stretch of La. 3066 into the parish’s road system from the state, a decision keeping the White Castle ferry operating a little longer.
The board’s resolution laying out the terms of the deal says that 3.18 miles of La. 3066, from its intersection with La. 75 in Plaquemine to Indian Village Road, will become parish property after the state Department of Transportation and Development has given the road a $10 million update.
Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso said that portion of the highway has been closed between 12 and 15 years. “It’s in bad, bad shape,” he said.
Ourso told the board that DOTD officials asked the parish to assume ownership of La. 3066 because of funding cuts to the department’s budget.
“The state is trying to do away with a bunch of their roads,” Ourso said. “They don’t have enough money to keep it up.”
DOTD agreed to apply a roadway transfer credit of some $1.4 million to the parish government to help fund the White Castle ferry’s operation and maintenance costs, according to the resolution.
DOTD officials said in July the ferry was on the chopping block for closure at the end of 2012. It was previously reported that suspending the ferry’s operation would save DOTD about $800,000 annually.
The resolution says that DOTD will apply about $235,000 of the $1.4 million credit toward the White Castle ferry’s operating costs from January through June 2013.
The credit’s remaining funds will go toward future construction projects in the parish that will be identified no later than Dec. 31, 2014, the resolution states.
In other actions Tuesday night, the Parish Council:
- Approved a three-year contract to hire the Baxley & Associates accounting firm to perform the parish’s annual audits.
- Adopted a resolution to name the Bayou Sorrel fire station on La. 75 in honor of José “Pepe” Alvarez , a volunteer firefighter who has worked on improving the area’s fire rating.
- Authorized the administration to sell the parish’s Agricultural Building, 23640 Peters St., to the Pendley, Baudin & Coffin law firm for $30,400.