Griffin pushes for Eastbank library: Community pushes backSep 16th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: news
For quite some time now Councilman P.V. Griffin of District 1 has been fighting to build a library on the Eastbank of the Parish, and at last week’s council meeting $2.3 million was taken out of the “new courthouse fund” in a 7-1 vote, with Councilman Keith Hinkley of District 2 absent from the meeting and Council Chairman Byron Marinovich voting against the measure.
Technically though, the ordinance will not be taking any money away from the courthouse project itself.
“Last year we got a $25 million bond to build the courthouse—the library project will not be stripping any money away from the bonded project,” said Marinovich. “It will be coming from a separate pool of money, in the courthouse fund, that consists of $3.6 million. This $3 million pool was dedicated to the fund by a previous council.”
Residents at the meeting where appreciated the explanation, but still feel that Griffin is taking away money that could, and should have been put towards the new courthouse.
“I’m not against a library,” said Authur Henry of Belle Chasse. “But I’m against taking money away from the courthouse fund. This courthouse is going to represent the Parish, so it should be state-ofthe- art. We don’t know how much that is going to cost, so it’s ridiculous to take away any be set towards this project.”
“The courthouse project hasn’t even started yet, and we’re already taking money away that could have gone towards it,” said Marinovich.
Several Eastbank residents also expressed their dissatisfaction with Griffin’s “disregard” to involve the community in planning and construction for a new library.
Residents expressed that there should have been a public meeting held to discuss what the community wants to build. Griffin said that he will try to hold a meeting this week “if his schedule permits it.”
“I think the people on the Eastbank would rather have something like a medical center, rather than a library,” said Reverend Tyrone Edwards of Phoenix. “Before the library project came along, there was a debate over whether or not a medical center should be built—I believe that this idea should be revisited, and I think that the community would agree. Either way, a community meeting should be held before anything is done.”
“You’re sleeping with the devil here,” said Eastbank resident Michael Rodriguez as he addressed Griffin. “A community meeting should be held before any construction is started. The most important thing right now is getting our courthouse done.”