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The Truth About the Loop: No Construction Without Central’s Approval

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By Dave Freneaux
 
There is no need to break out the pitchforks and torches to defend the City of Central from Dr. FrankenLoop’s Monster.  Just a little thorough research by Central Speaks uncovered the truth that the Capital Area Expressway Authority (CAEA) has no authority to build a toll road through Central without Central’s written consent.  There is also no need to pass a non-binding resolution with no force of law against a Loop when actual Louisiana State Law prevents the CAEA from constructing anything anywhere unless it has “the prior express written consent of the affected governing bodies.”  Central is indeed a “governing body” and Central has not given any such consent.
 
In light of the sensationalized coverage the Loop has received over the past three weeks, this news probably comes as both a surprise and a welcomed relief to the citizens of Central.  Here is the actual Louisiana State Law found in 1997 House Bill 411 which became the 1997 Legislature Act 1017.  This legislation was created for the purpose of allowing CONSENTING parishes and municipalities to construct toll roads.  Section 2028 A begins: “An authority created and established pursuant to this Chapter may only construct new additional highway toll and/or transitway toll facilities under the terms set forth in this Chapter, with the prior express written consent of the affected governing bodies within the geographic boundaries of the authority after public hearing.”
 
So, not only does the CAEA need the City of Central’s prior written consent, but that consent has to be given AFTER public hearing.  This means that passing a non-binding resolution with no force of law behind it would be both impotent and premature.  To fast-forward and see the end of the movie right now, there is a group of people working to secure private funds to build a road in or near Central which could help alleviate Central’s traffic problems and increase Central’s tax base to support the city and the School System, all at no charge to Central.  And, in the end, if Central doesn’t like their proposal, Central can simply say no thank you.  It would seem wise to see what the CAEA wants to give Central before rejecting the offer out of fear.
 

4 Comments

  1. Jason Ellis

    December 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Wow I didn’t see this coming. Good points Dave thanks for presenting the “facts.” Your research skills are impeccable. Keep up the good work!

    • dave

      December 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

      My problem with the whole way the Loop has been presented to the public is that it seemed to be presented as beyond our control. Most conservatives have a streak of libertarian as well. I went looking for the justification for leaving Central out of the permission process. I was hoping to find at least some basis for insisting on Central being heard. What I found was that the law was clearly written to provide protection for all municipalities. Very encouraging to now be able to quiet the fear-mongering and begin discussing what solutions there are to our infrastructore needs, sales tax base, and traffic problems. This may or may not be a poart of the solution, but at least now we can consider it knowing that it can’t hurt to look.

  2. Kim Fralick

    December 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Well since it is the law, we all know we can trust it… It absolutely WON’T happen without written consent of our elected leaders. Forgive my sarcasm, but I am still crossing my fingers about the continuation of the payroll tax cut for ne…xt year…What concerns me even more is that our governing body does not know what the people of Central want. Someone mentioned this at one of the council meetings. I am hoping that they will not rely solely on the ones who show up at the Jan 10 Council meeting. I mean some people lead very busy lives with jobs, businesses to run, children to be at home with, sporting events of their children to attend, and the list goes on and on. Oh and lets not think that all Central citizens read the papers or get on the City of Central Face book page. Heck some of our citizens probably do not own a computer. Anyway, that’s just my two cents worth on the subject.

  3. Jason Ellis

    December 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I feel a lot better knowing that our community is empowered by this law to have its input heard before any construction begins. The loop commission better start getting more involved with each municipality if it wants written consent from Central or any other city for that matter. I don’t see the need for this Loop resolution for January 10th it is not empowering us to deal with the loop. In fact since a resolution carries no force of the law then why are we wasting our city officials time and energy entertaining this resolution? Don’t we have other buisness to attend to that actually does something tangible for Central. There are two Northern routes and one has not been decided on yet. Should our city assert that it is not in favor of a project that is possibly not even in our City Limits? Do we really need to waste time making non binding statements on something that we are possibly sure of where it is going in the first place. Kim great idea about soliciting public input in order for us to make an informed decision on this that represents the views of the majority of our citizens. However I would say let’s wait to do that untill we get the route established this summer. Have a Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year.

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