Nungesser, PPC members discuss parish issues at Town Hall in BurasAug 14th, 2012 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: news
Several of the parish’s big issues were discussed at a Town Hall meeting in Buras on August 8. The meeting was led by parish president Billy Nungesser and Councilmembers Byron Marinovich, Jeff Edgecombe and Marla
Oil Spill Claims
Belle Chasse Attorney Brandon Taylor briefed the Town Hall attendees on the new claims process for individuals affected by the spill. Taylor explained that the new claims facility, which opened June 4, is run by a court-appointed neutral party. Taylor encouraged anyone who has not filed a claim, or has filed a claim and been denied, to file again through this process. According to Taylor, Oct. 1 is the deadline to opt out of the settlement and pursue litigation through other avenues.
The deadline for the Seafood Compensation Program is 30 days after the court approves the settlement, and Taylor says the hearing is Nov. 8.
Borrow Pits and Backfilling
Councilchair Marinovich announced that the council was close to approving a new ordinance that would mandate backfilling for operators who are selling their dirt for out-of-parish projects. Marinovich said although he was pushing for an “across the board” backfill requirement, the issue with federal funding gap for levees needed to be addressed, and he feels that removing the backfill requirement for operators who sell their dirt for in-parish projects would provide incentive for them to contribute to the federal levee work. President Nungesser also spoke on the issue, and said that he would support the backfilling of all pits as soon as the federal levee work was completed.
“Byron said to me ‘I want the people of this parish to know
why you don’t support backfilling,” Nungesser explained. “My push is build these federal levees and once that’s done, let’s backfill everything.”
“I think we compromised on it and I think it’s a win-win for Plaquemines Parish,” he continued.
Historic Eastbank Courthouse
Marinovich also announced to the audience that the council is looking into bonding money out for the restoration of the historic courthouse and a resolution on that issue may be coming soon. The tentative plans are to save the exterior facade and the bell tower, but after an inspection it seems the old jail might be too costly to restore considering its small size.
Port Sulphur Lock-up
After FEMA funds for the project were moved by President Nungesser to Belle Chasse for the F. Edward Hebert government complex, Marinovich stated that a compromise has been reached and the funds are being moved
back down to Port Sulphur so a lock-up facility can be built for South Plaquemines.