NEW IBERIA — The Iberia Parish Council voted unanimously Wednesday to introduce a resolution to begin demolishing Grand Marais Elementary.
The vacant school at 3319 College Road in Grand Marais would cost more than $500,000 to renovate, said Felix Jeanminette, the Iberia Parish School Board’s chief accountant and member of the Grand Marais Community Development board.
He said the building is an eyesore and a liability, and added that the School Board has no intention of using it.
He said after speaking with Grand Marais residents, they would rather the 15-acre property demolished and used for other purposes. The resolution would also authorize the Parish Council’s parks and recreation department to take it over.
Council member Naray Hulin said the parish parks and recreation department already spends $1 million on parks and wants to make sure it is taxpayer funded before the council takes it over.
Council member Larry Richard said it would cost $20,000 to demolish the buildings, and it sounded like a good deal to him. They could decide how to fund a new park at a later date, possibly with grants.
Council member Maggie Daniels asked Jeanminette who would pay for the demolition.
Jeanminette said it depends on what intergovernmental agreement the Parish Council and School Board enter into.
Council member Bernard Broussard asked that the District Attorney’s office look at the matter to see if it is legal to accept a donation of property once it is improved or if the parish will have to purchase the property from the School Board.
The resolution will have to be voted on again at the next council meeting.
GRASS CUTTING REQUEST: Council members also asked fellow member Troy Comeaux to cut the grass surrounding Verlon Bertrand’s home in the Timberstone Estates subdivision, which is located east of New Iberia near the intersection of Bonnet Street and La. 87.
Bertrand said the grass is attracting insects and coyotes, and obstructing fire hydrants and signs. He said he has made repeated requests to Comeaux, who manages the property.
Comeaux apologized to Bertrand and said there are 68 other lots that need cutting and he hasn’t had the time because of another issue that has detained him. He offered to cut the grass as soon as possible as there is a parish ordinance saying grass cannot exceed 18 inches tall.