The East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control and the development manager of the Rouzan development on Perkins Road disagree on what’s holding up progress on the library branch planned for the property.
At Thursday’s meeting, board members agreed to formally request that developer Tommy Spinosa attend the next meeting to give an update on the Rouzan development.
His son is the developer-manager of the project.
Board members had a number of questions about delays in getting access to the property and getting infrastructure ready for a library to be built as part of the development.
Library Director David Farrar said part of the delay stems from a pending permit application to the state Department of Transportation and Development to allow access to the site from Perkins Road.
That permit application was submitted to the state in March 2010, Farrar said.
Reached by phone after the meeting, development manager Tommy Spinosa III said the library board could start construction whenever it wants.
In addition, the library plan and specifications still need to be approved by the board before work can begin, Spinosa said.
The library board shouldn’t be held up by the DOTD permit application because it has a temporary servitude in place that it could use, he said.
“They could get started tomorrow if they wanted to,” Spinosa said.
At the meeting, board members also asked Farrar to contact Tommy Spinosa — father of Tommy Spinosa III — to live up to an earlier agreement that he attend every other board meeting to answer questions.
One of those questions involves the updated timeline for construction.
An agreement signed by the library board states that the development would donate land and infrastructure if the library builds a branch on the property.
Although there are timelines in that agreement, Farrar said, there are no methods to enforce them.
Standford Bardwell, library board member, said it appears there are a few options for the library board to consider. Either the board can wait for the development to move forward at its own pace or the board can begin building library.
Board members Lawrence Lambert and Derek Gordon said it’s highly unlikely the library board would be allowed to move forward on its own because it’s obvious the library branch is part of a bigger project.
In addition, the library board would still need to get the permit to gain access from Perkins Road and would need to pay for the infrastructure costs — which is not the case under the current agreement with the developer, Farrar said.
In an unrelated matter, a groundbreaking for the new Goodwood Main Library will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at the site just behind the current Goodwood library.