By Cyndi Sellers
The Cameron Parish Police Jury on Friday voted to accept a bid from James Savoy for electrical improvements to the Grand Chenier Pavilion. Tom Barrett, Cameron Lions Club Vice President, presented the proposal to the Jury on behalf of the club, which had worked with the Grand Chenier Recreation District to receive bids.
The Parish had extended the pavilion in recent years, but had not added lights or electrical outlets to the addition. The club had planned to pay the $6795 for the upgrades in order to help their Fishing Festival and other community events at the park. Jurors chose to pay for the upgrades with parish funds instead, saying the Lions Club already did a lot for the community, and should keep the money for their scholarship fund.
The Parish will easily be able to afford the electrical upgrades, since they also accepted a $13,800 settlement from Transocean, the final BP lawsuit settlement. Attorney T-Claude Devall said this settlement resolves the rest of the case.
The contract with The Picard Group for governmental affairs and lobbying was renewed. the company’s task is to identify opportunities for grants and allocations for the parish, to watch state and federal legislative bodies for bills that might impact local government, and to lobby to protect the interest of the Parish with other governmental bodies.
Alfred Devall was appointed to the Cameron Parish Port, Harbor and Terminal District seat vacated by the death of Cliff Cabell. Other appointments were: Fire Protection District #10 – Ian Griffith; Recreation District #5 – Don Soileau; Beachfront Development District #1 Mike Gaspard and Russell Badon, replacing Lisa Hunt and Mark McCombs, who resigned; Cameron Parish Tourist Commission – Mary Carroll, replacing Lisa Hunt, who resigned.
Public notice was given of intent to hold tax renewal elections for Fire Districts 14 and 15 in March 2021.
Two permits were approved for fill-in of Holly Beach property on Brant Street and Egret Street, damaged in earlier hurricanes, but they are pending wetlands determination. A culvert replacement on a private driveway was approved for a location on Gulf Beach Highway in Holly Beach. Permits for levee maintenance in Cameron and pipeline repair and lowering at Little Florida Beach were also approved
Food Truck Drama Continues
Davy Doxey asked the Jury to consider modifying the Food Truck permit ordinance to restrict non-profit organizations partnering with a food truck to those with a Cameron Parish domicile. He said he didn’t see any of the money received by the Rockin’ Rutherford non-profit going to local uses, except for a $5000 band concert on July 4th. Jurors also asked that the ordinance include a set amount of revenue for the food truck to donate to the non-profit. Mr. Gatti’s donates 6 percent of gross sales to the Grand Lake School.
Bobby Miller, president of Rockin’ Rutherford Fishing Club, a 501c3 non-profit organization, said the organization is domiciled in Acadia Parish, but he and his wife live at Rutherford Beach a lot of the year, and two board members are Cameron Parish residents.
He said the domicile can easily be changed to Cameron Parish if the Jury decides to require it.
Miller said the food truck income stays local. The club has plans for several improvements to Rutherford Beach, if Beachfront Development District #2 approves of them. The group hopes to replace the highway sign destroyed by Hurricane Rita, landscape the Rutherford Beach welcome sign and add palm trees to the pavilion area, among other ideas. He said his members eat and shop locally, and conduct weekly beach cleanups.
Dr. Kevin Dupke spoke from the audience to remind the Jury that he had asked last month for a determination of whether the food truck and snocone truck at Rutherford Beach were hurting local businesses.
Miller countered that one of the Beachfront Development District’s original goals in creating the recreation area lease was a concession stand, which was never realized. He also said beachgoers were unlikely to pack up the family and run up to Creole for a meal during their stay. He said he would provide the Jury with the number of days the food truck was at the beach. Rita’s Creole Kitchen is a Cameron Parish based food truck, based in Big Lake.