A road connecting the proposed Rouzan branch library to Glasgow Avenue appears to be a sticking point in negotiations between the city-parish and Rouzan developer J.T. “Tommy” Spinosa over the long-delayed library project.
The two sides have been working since February on revising the agreement, which calls for Spinosa to complete infrastructure related to the project before the city-parish begins to build the library.
The latest hitch came after Spinosa balked at a requirement that he build a road connecting Glasgow Avenue to the location of the library branch, said Todd Teepell, special assistant to interim Department of Public Works Director David Guillory.
“Tommy does not want to do what he’s agreed to do,” Teepell said. “That road is very important.”
Since the proposed library is to be a neighborhood library, DPW officials want residents of the surrounding neighborhoods to have access to the library without having to get on heavily trafficked Perkins Road, Teepell said.
“That was one of our original terms,” Teepell said.
Jeff Wright, a spokesman for Tommy Spinosa, said the debate concerns the timing of the road’s construction.
“They wanted it done earlier,” he said of DPW.
Wright said the library can be accessed from Perkins Road, adding that very few other libraries have entrances from two streets.
“You don’t need two entrances,” Wright said.
“Why put it on the developer?” he asked.
The Library Board of Control will meet Thursday afternoon, and the Rouzan agreement is on the agenda. Critics have criticized the slow pace of the project.
Spinosa donated the land for the branch to the library in 2010. City-parish officials have said that in order for them to begin building, the streets, sewers, drainage and parking for the library building must be built.
Library board member Travis Woodard said Tuesday he hoped the issues would be resolved.
“We are trying to work out the last-minute details,” he said. “Monday, we were presented with a draft, but the finer points are still being worked out.”
Leo D’Aubin, the assistant parish attorney handling the negotiations for the city-parish, did not respond to telephone calls and an email seeking comment.
Library board member Stanford O. Bardwell Jr. said the draft agreement for the Rouzan project he was sent “didn’t have enough teeth” and was “totally inadequate.”