By ZACHARY FITZGERALD
After recently learning that the Port of Morgan City will get almost $4.8 million from state government to fund several projects, port leaders took the first step toward starting that work. On Monday, the Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District Commission authorized port officials to advertise for bids to repair and perform maintenance on the port’s railroad spurs on Youngs Road. Last month, port officials entered into an agreement with the state department of Transportation and Development through the Port Construction and Development Priority Program for improvements to the port’s railroad spurs, dock and closure of a drainage canal by the spurs to allow for unloading of rail cars at that location. The state has committed about $4.8 million to go toward those projects. Port
leaders plan to begin paying for the work, and then get reimbursed from the state in about 2½ years, Port Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade said. The port will spend another $600,000 to $700,000 of its own funds, he said.
Improvements to the port’s dock to provide extra space to unload ships will be the most expensive portion of the projects at roughly $4 million, he said. Wade expects all three projects to finish within about four years. Maintenance on the railroad spur is the first phase of work set to go to construction, consultant engineer Clay Breaud said. During the meeting, the commission approved a memorial resolution in honor of former commissioner, the late Gary Duhon Sr., who died Nov. 24 from cancer, and to send the resolution to his family. Duhon resigned from the commission in October due to his declining health. “He was very faithful to this board for a long time,” Wade said of Duhon. Also at the meeting, Wade announced that the port and the U.S. Coast Guard signed an agreement Dec. 1 for the Morgan City marine safety unit to lease space in the p o r t ’s Government Emergency Operations Center through 2038. The unit will be moving from its location on David Drive to the port facility on La. 182. Finalizing the lease agreement with the Coast Guard had been in the works for a long time, Wade said. In other business, the commission:
—Recognized commissioners Matt Ackel and Duane Lodrigue for a decade of service on the commission. Both are nearing the end of their time as port commissioners.
—Approved the port to rescind a prior action and transfer the title of improvements made to the port’s property on Youngs Road to Intermoor, which leases property there, contingent upon legal and accounting review. The rescinding of the action was for accounting purposes, and all improvements to the property will remain on site, port attorney Gerard Bourgeois said.
—Tabled action on election of commission officers until January.
Published by Daily Review December 11, 2018