Port picks sites for emergency center

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News,Business,Transportation

MORGAN CITY, La. (AP) — Officials of the Port of Morgan City officials want to use a tract next to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium to build a $9.3 million government emergency operations center.

Port Director Raymond "Mac" Wade told the City Council that groundbreaking at the site on Louisiana Highway 182 could come in July.

The Daily Review reported (http://bit.ly/1jz7o21) that state Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin, has secured a $7 million state for the work. Wade says the port will contribute up to $2.3 million for the 32,500-square-foot center.

Wade says a final decision still needs to be made on the location.

Port attorney Gerard Bourgeois says MC Bank owns about an acre at the site, and the city has 75 feet of highway frontage there.

MC Bank is in favor of selling its property as is another landowner who owns property in the area, Bourgeois said.

The council introduced an ordinance allowing the city and the port to enter into a cooperative endeavor to acquire the site. A public hearing will be held in April on the proposal.

Port officials are revamping plans for the center due to a change in its potential site. They originally wanted to put the center between Victor II Boulevard and David Drive, but that deal fell through, Wade said.

The emergency operations center will allow multiple government agencies to be under the same roof and can serve as an emergency command center during a hurricane, Wade said.

If construction begins in July, Wade said completion would be expected by May 2015.

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Information from: The Daily Review , http://www.stmarynow.com

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