Kevin Couhig

ST. FRANCISVILLE – The West Feliciana Parish Council agreed Monday to amend its Grounds Fund by $150,000 to build a multipurpose building at the Sports Park.

Parish President Kevin Couhig announced the new metal building will be constructed on a concrete slab adjacent to the existing 4-H barn and will serve as the new home for 4-H club offices and meeting space.

He said it will be between 2,400 and 2,500 square feet and will include space for summer camps at the Sports Park to use in case of inclement weather. Once the 4-H club moves into the new building, the existing 4-H office on Commerce Street will be turned into an administrative building for the parish’s water department.

The existing water department building “is not suitable for humans,” Couhig told the council.

Former councilman John Kean, a realtor and broker, questioned the low cost estimate for the new building, which he said was somewhere around $60/per square foot.

“Have you seen any hard estimates?” Kean asked the council. “That’s very cheap.”

Couhig countered that he’s confident the $150,000 estimated building cost is well within what has been projected, and the building will include a small kitchenette and a couple of bathrooms.

“We’re confident we can do it for that,” he said.

Additionally, the council introduced an ordinance to sell the old Sullivan House, which is located near the Court House. Couhig said that structure had been considered for the 4-H club relocation, but it was inappropriate for that group’s needs. He said once that building is sold, the proceeds will go into the Grounds Fund and will be used toward the new multipurpose building at the Sports Park.

The council also introduced an ordinance to revise upward the price of a 76-acre tract of land adjacent to Hood Container that the parish is selling to Hood based on a revised estimate by an appraiser. The new cost is slightly more than $406,000, up from the original selling price of just under $235,000.

A public hearing for both ordinances will take place at the April 10 council meeting at 5:30 p.m.

During his Parish President’s report, Couhig said a house count by Waste Management came back with an increase in dwellings in the parish. Couhig said some of the increase is due to hunting camps and the number of trailers on them as well as trailer parks. He also said the parish hasn’t been charging businesses for garbage collection. Because of diminishing financial resources, Couhig said, the parish may start charging for pickup at those locations on water bills or gas bills.

In other action, the council approved two rezoning requests — one for St. Francisville United Methodist Church to rezone some property on U.S. 61 from residential-agricultural to a special district for a church complex/campus and the other for a piece of property owned by Robby and Diana Oliveaux from residential-agricultural to heavy commercial. The council agreed to defer another request for 90 days by Galilee Full Gospel Baptist Church from residential-agricultural to a special district for a cemetery.