Sorrento makes decision on Ascension Civic Center lease

Mary-Glenn Smith

After several months of deliberation over whether to lease the Ascension Civic Center from the Parish School Board, councilmen agreed to give up on pursuing a lease proposal with the board at their meeting Tuesday night.

Instead of leasing the Civic Center, councilmen voted to begin researching park development on 16 acres of land located on Main Street that the town already owns.

Councilman John Braud stated that he believes “it’s dangerous” to base the lease decision on one event like the Boucherie Festival. Braud said he doesn’t think the festival will make enough money to provide for the building, including insurance, water, and maintenance bills.

As of now, the town is uncertain of the future of annual events like the Boucherie Festival and the Volunteer Fire Department Trail Ride fundraiser. The trial ride for earlier this month was not held. The town has not yet decided if it will have a Boucherie Festival, or where it will be located.

“The 16-acres could be designed in a way that would be able to host these events,” Braud said. “In the long term we would have a place to have these events permanently, instead of having to worry about a lease being taken away from us.”

Councilman Wilson Longanecker, Jr. said he does not favor losing the trail ride or Boucherie due to location issues, saying “it’s part of the town’s culture and heritage.”

The council agreed with Longanecker, saying it plans to work toward possibly having future events on the town’s Main Street  acreage.

In unrelated business, the council discussed the town sewer system.

Responding to comments from Town Engineer Lynn Chance of Glenn G. Shaheen and Associates, Inc., who stated at the April 12 meeting that due to the current condition of the treatment pond there is no need to tie-in additional users, councilmen opted to get a second opinion on the sewer system from someone other than Chance.

Mayor Blake LeBlanc said he would meet with engineer Ron Ferris of Ferris Engineering Arpil 22 at 7 a.m. to re-evaluate the condition of the sewer system and treatment pond.