VACHERIE - The St. James Parish Council unanimously agreed to consider a proposed ordinance authorizing issuance and sale of up to $35 million in parish GO Zone revenue bonds to steel producer Nucor Corp.
Late last year, the Parish Council agreed to issue $600 million in GO Zone bonds from the Louisiana State Bond Commission to finance the first phase of construction for Nucor’s direct-reduced iron facility in Convent.
Parish President Dale Hymel Jr. did not say during the council’s meeting Wednesday how the $35 million in GO Zone bonds would be applied toward the facility, which is scheduled to undergo various construction phases during a seven-year period that could reach an estimated investment of up to $3.4 billion.
Although the Parish Council decided in a 7-0 vote to deviate from the agenda and take up the bond ordinance, the decision did not come without a few minutes of disagreement among council members.
Hymel sought to add the bond ordinance proposal to Wednesday night’s meeting agenda after parish bond attorney Hugh Martin contacted Hymel’s office that morning with the request.
But the last-minute request angered Council Chairman Ralph Patin.
Patin said he was “sick and tired” of the Parish Council being asked to deviate from the published meeting agenda by adding last-minute ordinances and resolutions, almost all of them involving money, tax incentives or grants.
Hymel also said the State Bond Commission meets only about twice a month and added the commission has deadlines and timelines to consider.
Martin then apologized to the council, saying he didn’t receive the go-ahead to proceed with the bond sales until late Tuesday afternoon.
The reason for moving so quickly is that the GO Zone bond program will expire at the end of this year, he said.
The council’s public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. July 6 in Convent.
Other actions taken Wednesday by the council included:
NUSTAR GO ZONE BONDS: The Parish Council approved an ordinance authorizing issuance and sale of up to $75 million in parish GO Zone revenue bonds to NuStar Logistics LP.
The bonds would be issued to finance the tank farm’s construction of 4.8 million barrels of additional storage capacity at NuStar Energy’s St. James terminal along the Mississippi River’s west bank, said parish spokeswoman Melissa Wilkins.