NEW IBERIA — FEMA plans to award Iberia Parish a $1 million grant to stormproof 16 government buildings.
Parish President Ernest Freyou told the council Wednesday that the Iberia Parish Court annex building, City Hall, Cliff Aucoin building and every parish fire department will receive new wind-damage-resistant windows and other enhancement work.
The money is coming from a Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation grant.
Freyou did not give a date for when the work will start.
He said plans to improve the buildings started more than four years ago prior to his administration, but because of the planning and design work that went into the project, it was delayed in getting submitted to FEMA for approval, Freyou said.
In other council business:
PARISH JAIL GARDEN: Council member John Berard requested that parish government officials contact state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain’s office to find out what kind of help his office might provide to expand the Parish Jail’s garden.
He said the hope is that they could expand the garden onto a few acres around the jail. The prisoners would work the land, he said. The food would be used for the prisoners, could be sent to schools for their lunch programs and sold to the public.
Berard asked that once the matter is discussed that a plan be brought to the council. No action was taken on the issue.
LIMITING TRUCK WEIGHT: The council tabled two agenda items because it has not decided what size to limit large trucks that can travel on certain parish roads.
The proposed ordinance would limit large truck traffic on C. Romero and Neco Town roads.
Parish legal adviser Dean Wattingy said the parish laws governing how many axles, the type, the weight and other characteristics of a large truck will have to be considered before the parish can limit access on the roads.
EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS TWO LAWSUITS: The council went into executive session at the end of the meeting in order to discuss two lawsuits.
One of the suits was filed by Sugar Hills Estates subdivision resident Ray Gary. The suit attempts to stop the reclassification of property at the entrance of the subdivision, which is located along La. 88, from residential to commercial. The council voted to make the change at its June 22 meeting. There are plans to build a Dollar General Store on the property.
Iberia Parish resident Reuben LeBlanc also is suing the parish. He is attempting to dissolve all tax increment finance districts in the parish, Wattigny said. LeBlanc states in his suit that the TIF districts are unconstitutional, Wattigny said. There are currently two TIF districts in the parish.
The next council meeting is Sept. 7.