The Daily Review from Morgan City, Louisiana on July 15, 1980 · 1
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The Daily Review from Morgan City, Louisiana · 1

Morgan City, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 15, 1980
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EM 9 2 8KCTION8 ID PAGES MORGAN CITY, LOUISIANA ... HOME OF THE LOUISIANA SHRIMP & PETROLEUM FESTIVAL VOLUME 18, NUMBER 140 UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL SERVING ST. MARY PARISH SINCE 1871 FIFTEEN CENTS PER COPY TUESDAY, JULY IS, I8H0 PARKER CONRAD PRESENTS HIS ATCHAF ALA YA PLAN SMIG supports plans presented by Conrad The St. Mary Industrial Group has joined the growing list of organizations going on record supporting the proposal of a Morgan City resident to divert 100 percent of the Atchafalaya River flow through the Wax Lake outlet in an effort to control flooding and siltation in Berwick Bay . SMIG took the action Monday and called for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing in Morgan City after hearing Parker Conrad of Conrad Industries present his plan, which calls for blocking the Atchafalaya River north of Morgan City and diverting it through the man-made outlet at Calumet. Conrad explained that there were two types of flooding. The first comes from rising levels in the river. The second type is backwater flooding, which is one of the effects of river flooding, Conrad said. Conrad said years ago the decision was made to build the Old River Control Structure and the Bonnet Carre spillway in an effort to protect Baton Rouge and New Orleans. , - . "At that time, that possibly was the best decision," he said. However, he said since that time Merit raises adopted by Berwick Council Merit pay raises for deserving town employees and department heads were approved during a special meeting of the Berwick Mayor and Council Monday. In issuing the raises, which were not called for in every employee's case, Mayor Charles Savoie said those given the additional consideration "were worth the extra money." According to town clerk Gloria Nini, who incidentally was one of the town department heads to receive a raise, the salary compensation for all concerned amounts to an additional expenditure of $508 per month. Savoie said another consideration in the raises was a quick survey of surrounding communities and their municipal pay scale. "We found we Mayor, Council to meet tonight The Morgan City Mayor and Council is scheduled to meet in regular session tonight at 7 p.m. in the City Court Building on U.S. 90. The relatively short agenda calls for a discussion of the consent decree for minority employment in the city's police and fire departments. Other topics on the agenda include state revenue sharing, Lake End Park expansion, bulkheading on Lake Palourde, traffic signals on Sixth and Seventh streets and other matters. The meeting is opened to the public and adequate seating is available. Berwick Berwick's lease on land surrounding the only operational boat ramp in the town on River Road was relinquished to the St. Mary Parish School Board after it was determined there would be about 200 additional feet left for future town use if parking expansion was needed. Berwick Mayor Charles Savoie, during a special meeting Monday, said he went to the boat ramp with the board engineer to see exactly what was involved in relinquishing the town's lease. He said after learning that there would be additional area available to the town for expan Morgan City has developed into a major city, which is now plagued with flooding and siltation problems which were ' 'sort of wished on us. " Conrad said his plan calls for extending a levee from La. 70 to Riverside Plantation and diverting the flow of the Atchafalaya River through the Wax Lake Outlet. He said a set of locks will have to be constructed north of Morgan City to allow for marine traffic. Implementation of his plan, Conrad said, would eliminate flooding and the swift currents in Berwick Bay, which he said have been responsible for the numerous barges that have struck the Southern Pacific Railroad bridge. Morgan City and Berwick, Conrad said, would then have a clear water river free of silt. He said Berwick Bay could be initially dredged and would not need dredging again for many years later. Conceding that his plan would be expensive, Conrad said, "I think our very future is at stake. " Noting that Morgan City is affected by flooding conditions as far north as (Continued on Page 12) were a little behind in some departments," he said. The raises were approved on a motion by Allen McElroy Jr., seconded by Randy Plessala and an affirmative vote from councilman Reggie Guillot. Councilmen Everett Berry and Murval Guidroz were not present. Savoie said the raises amounted to $50 for department heads involved and 15-20 cents per hour for hourly employees. The raises will go into effect on the next pay period for the employees. Savoie said for some people that would be Wednesday and others it would be about two weeks away. Savoie said the employees that did not get raises did not get them "not because I don't like them or because their department heads don't like them, it's because they don't show up for work a nd put us in a bind. "The council has always shown monetary appreciation for town employees who show they care about their job and the town," Savoie said. The need to take a look at merit pay increases became apparent during a workshop session of the council two weeks ago. At that meeting the council found they could not seriously discuss a starting salary for a new recreation department director without adjusting some existing department heads' salaries. Further investigation into the topic led the council to take a look at merit (Continued on Page 12) relinquishes larod sion he would recommend that the council relinquish their release. The mayor also said there were no plans for extensive development in the area, although the town did consider an extensive recreational development there at one time. However, Savoie said the advent of the new recreational complex on La. 182 and land under elevated U.S. 90 in the town had negated the need for additional recreational development in Berwick. Councilman Allen McElroy Jr. said the school board was interested in acquiring the land so they could deal Cooperation 9 peroral!: deadline Despite some breakdown in cooperation between agencies involved in a comprehensive study that will lead to the issuance of a permit for construction of four-lane U.S. 90 between Morgan City and Gray, La., a spokesman for the lead agency involved said Monday that all the agencies involved were holding up their end of the deal. The lead agency in the four-lane construction project is the U.S. Coast Guard, but other agencies involved include the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Office of Highways, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and most recently the Office of the National Register due to the discovery of two ar-cheological sites in the proposed route. The agencies involved work together to assimilate the Environmental Impact Statement necessary before permits can be issued and rights-of-way acquired. Recent inquiries into the status of the project and the progress of the EIS, specifically meetings held in U.S. Sen. Russell Long's Washington, D.C. office between Louisiana Secretary of Transportation and JeroLkins Citing the economy, national defense and the give-away of the Panama Canal as the three major issues facing the voters, state Rep. Louis "Woody" Jenkins of Baton Rouge launched his challenge for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Russell Long. Speaking at the monthly meeting of the St. Mary Industrial Group Monday, Jenkins said, "We've got to turn our country around." He said business cannot continue as usual in Congress and blamed the present congressional leadership for making the United States "second to the Soviet Union in defense" and causing an "average family to pay 43 percent of its income to government." Jenkins said he would favor the elimination of federal welfare programs for people who are able to work and the elimination of numerous federal agencies. According to the candidate, the federal bureaucracy has resulted in a national debt so great that every family in Louisiana 'pays (1,400 of its taxes "as itsshareof the interest on the national debt." Deficit spending, Jenkins said, results in too much money in circulation. Jenkins said the United States government was the only organization he knew that could take perfectly good paper and perfectly good ink and "create something totally worthless" as he waved a dollar bill before the audience. "The politicians from Washington," Jenkins said, "are living a lie." He said they blame it on business, unions, f oriegn nations and other factors. REP. LOUIS "WOODY" JENKINS ADDRESSES SMIG Special BATON ROUGE, La. (UPI) -Louisiana legislators have ended their free-spending 85-day session with a high-temper feud between the House and the Senate, a dead $2 billion construction program and a call for a special session to clean up the leftover work. In the last minutes of the session Monday night, representatives and senators pointed fingers at each other trying to place the blame for a feud that killed the capital outlay with Texaco for future development of the area. "The Texaco lease will be only a portion of the land we now have under lease," McElroy said. "Once Texaco has completed their negotiations they will begin negotiations with others. "I firmly believe the sooner elected officials of this area work together the better off we'll all be. In the past, without mentioning any names," McElroy continued, "that hasn't been the case. "We are in a position to help the school board now by allowing them breakdown Development Paul Hardy, representatives of the St. Mary Industrial Group, Third District Congressman Billy Tauzin, representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA and Federal Highway Administration, have resulted in a timetable for the issuance of a permit for construction. PERMIT BY APRIL A letter from U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral R.A. Baum, Chief of the Office of Navigation, to the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans asked if that schedule could be complied with. The schedule calls for a permit to be issued by April 30, 1981 . "The only thing that bothers me about the whole thing is that I made that sketch when the SMIG delegation was in my office about a month ago to inquire about the status of the four-lane U.S. 90 project," Joesph Irico, chief of the Bridge Administrative Branch of the Eight Coast Guard District in New Orleans, said. , "The schedule for completion is a target schedule. It is not concrete although it is reasonably realistic," Irico said. "Now it has become a commitment." The correspondence between Rear blames tax hike on long session needed on outlay construction program. Prior to the last-night rush, legislators had spent more than a half-billion dollars in surplus funds, handed out pay raises to nearly every elected official and state employee and gave the citizens of Louisiana a $100 million income tax reduction. The 105-member Legislature also approved the most massive election reform package in the history of the state, revamping the system that made last year's $20 million gover- lease room to negotiate with Texaco. Let's take the initiative" and hope there is more harmony between governing bodies of the area in the future, McElroy said. With that, the councilman-lawyer offered a motion to relinquish to the school board that lease and retain the lease given to the town by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (the present developed boat ramp) . The motion was seconded by Randy Plessala arid got an affirmative vote from Reggie Guillot Councilmen Everett Berry and Murval Guidroz were not present. Admiral Baum and the Eighth Coast Guard District led to a reply that revealed some breakdown in cooperation and communication between some of the agencies involved, in particular the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development ( LDOTD ) . According to the reply, "It was planned that the LDOTD consultant would be an active participant in the writing of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement Supplement under Coast Guard direction and management. Since then, LDOTD has withdrawn its consultant from the preparation of the document, except for logistical support in the drafting of graphics and the printing and collation of the document. " Irico said although the withdrawal of the state personnel from the actual writing of the document did not help anything, it hadn't exactly brought anything to a grinding halt. "All it means is the writing (for the DEIS) will be done by us (USCG)," Irico said. "It (losing a person supplied by the state) hasn't helped the situation although it hasn't stopped the process of writing the document." NO BLAME PLACED I just don't want to get involved in Jenkins said the current economic system is simply caused by the Increased money supply. "A government strong enough to give you everything we need, is strong enough to take away everything we have." The people, Jenkins said, "Are yearning once again to be proud of this country." He said it was necessary to build up the nation's defenses which Included the B-l bomber, ABM program and killer satellites. He said it was necessary to "built up our economy' through "drastic reductions in taxes on individuals and corporations." The only way to achieve a balanced budget and reduce the money supply, according to Jenkins, is to "amend the federal constitution to require a . balanced budget." Jenkins said he would also work to deregulate all American Industries. Turning to Long's record in the senate, Jenkins said, "It is said that power corrupts." He added, "That depends on how it is used." Jenkins said Long has used his power to "raise our taxes," and said the Incumbent personally "handled the largest tax increases"-the Social Security tax increase and the windfall profits tax. Stating that the windfall profits tax was unfair, Jenkins said the consumers will eventually pay the tax and added, "it won't produce one barrel of oil" Jenkins said no other oil state senator voted for the tax, except Long and J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana. According to Jenkins, Long is against tax indexing, which would tie the amount of income taxes paid to the cost of living and was also against "across the board tax cuts." - Jenkins said Long did support a value added tax, which he described as a "national sales tax." The final topic Jenkins touched upon in his prepared remarks was the Panama Canal Treaty. Jenkins said Long "knowingly and intentionally voted to give It away," even though the people he represented wanted to keep it. Jenkins said he would like to have that power in the state legislature, but contended that he felt obligated to vote as the people wanted and not as he always wanted. According to Jenkins, Long defended his vote by saying that to retain the Canal Zone might have resulted in an armed conflict so therefore he "voted like a statesman." "That is the kind of statement that has caused us to be kicked in the teeth by . every third rate country in the world." Referring to his unsuccessful race against Sen. Johnston, where he polled 41 percent of the vote, Jenkins said, "It's not easy to run against an incumbent." However, he said the seniority has apparently not benefited Morgan City. "It seems to me Morgan City is always 20 years late." Referring to the flood control problems in the Atchafalaya Basin and the completion of U.S. 90, Jenkins remarked, "Why does that drag on." Jenkins said if Long "applied himself, he could solve problems of that magnitude." Jenkins endedhis talk by saying, "Let's get America moving again." nor's race the most expensive state election in the country and beginning an attack on vote buying, fraud and other traditional features of Louisiana electioneering. "The state of Louisiana is no longer going to be a laughing stock," said Rep. Charles "Peppi" Bruneau, D-New Orleans, who pushed for the campaign reform. The capital outlay construction bill, totally rewritten in a Senate committee, was held in the upper House until Monday evening, leaving no time for a compromise. Three House members sent to the Senate in a last-minute attempt to reach an agreement said they were denied admittance to the Senate floor. Senators blamed the dead bill on "irresponsible" representatives. "The House acted very irresponsibly in killing capital outlay," said Sen., Sam Nunez, D-Chalmette. "There's two sides to these chambers and I think we should work together." Rep. Charles Grisbaum, D-Metairie, placed the blame on Senate President Michael O'Keefe, D-New Orleans, whom he called a "self-appointed governor" for his role in leading the Senate's rewrite effort. "This process has deceived you and me, the well-intentioned senators AprnD namecalling," Irico continued. "The state recently underwent an administrative change and they had some things to iron out. The new broom wants to sweep clean and it's just human nature to pass the blame on to someone else." Asked if everyone seemed to be holding up their end of the deal, Irico replied, "I think so. Yes, I think so." The correspondence directed to the Rear Admiral from the Eighth CG District also pointed out other problems being experienced in the four-lane permitting process. According to the reply, "We are moving forward toward the delivery of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to meet the 26 September filing with EPA. However,, you should be aware of certain developments outside our control that could delay completion of the EIS process." The reply goes on to outline the process necessary to resolve any technical data conflicts between the agencies involved, specifically LDOTD. Basically, Irico said all the agencies involved had to have all the facts straight and congruent before the lead agency went public with the (Continued on Page 12) and the public, and it all happened because of the whim and the will of Mike the legislator, Mike the Senate president and Mike the self-appointed governor," Grisbaum said. Rep. Kenneth Leithman, D-Kenner, blamed Gov. Dave Treen, saying the governor traded special interest construction projects with representatives in exchange for their votes on crucial administration bills. "This bill got in trouble when Gov. Treen took some legislators in that corner office when the (teacher Professional Practices Commission) bill was debated," Leithman said. Treen said the allegations were "untrue." The governor said he would call a special session in late August or following the Labor Day holiday. Heat continues Partly cloudy through Wednesday with slight chance of thunder showers. Continued hot days and warm nights. High Wednesday upper 90s inland to mld-SOs along the coast. Low tonight near 80. Mostly westerly winds 10 to IS mph during the day diminishing to S to 10 mph at night. Chance of rain 20 percent through Wednesday.

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