Lake End Park concession going up for bids Monday
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
MORGAN CITY — Bids soon will be taken for food concession rights at Lake End Parkway in Morgan City because the current concession provider is retiring.
The first notice will be published in Monday’s Daily Review, and sealed bids will be received until 10 a.m. on Jan. 18, at the Morgan City Recreation Department, 915 Everett St. Bids will be opened at 10 a.m. on that date.
Beginning Monday, bid specifications will be available at the recreation department office.
The selected concessionaire will pay a minimum monthly fee of $100, with the highest bidder awarded the right to sell concessions after the Morgan City Council’s approval.
The contract will be for five years, beginning Feb. 1.
While the current owner, Jeannie Berry, had agreed to a lease through March 30, Lake End Park Manager Dwayne Barbier said this morning that she decided to leave the concession stand business early to give whoever would replace her enough time to get situated onsite to begin servicing customers for the spring and summer months.
The exact location of the concession business will be determined by Barbier, but it will be in a designated area near the Williams Pavilion. The site will provide water, sewer and electricity but all other amenities and site improvements will be the responsibility of the concessionaire.
According to Barbier, Berry would like to sell the concession stand building that housed Cajun Ice House as well as the equipment that went along with the concession stand to whomever receives the winning bid — if the winning bidder is interested.
Barbier said he has received interest, both in purchasing the facility as well as bidding on the project.
If the selected bidder is not interested in purchasing the building, Barbier said Berry would have to have it removed and the new concessionaire would have to have a building design approved by the city before it could be constructed.
The selected bidder for the site may offer such items as snowballs, potato chips, beef jerky, cookies, candy, hamburgers, jambalaya, soup, water, energy drinks, nachos, boudin, hot dogs, Frito pies, ice cream, hot chocolate, coffee and fountain drinks.
No alcoholic beverages will be sold, and any item not included in the bid specification must be approved by the Lake End Park Committee.
The concession business owner will be required to have at least a minimum $300,000 coverage in liability insurance.
The contract is nonexclusive, meaning if city officials agree, competition can be offered space at the park.
Envelopes containing bid information should be marked on the outside as “Bid — Lake End Parkway Concessions” and sealed and mailed to: Bart Mancuso, P.O. Box 1218, Morgan City, LA 70381.
This is the second time in less than a year Berry has publicly expressed a desire to leave Lake End Park.
In January 2010, a request to transfer ownership of the concession stand at Lake End Park was halted by the Morgan City Council after Berwick businessman Carl Thornton questioned whether the sale of Cajun Ice House (business and facility) — which was to be transferred from Berry to Matthew and Erin Sauce — had to first be bid out before it was sold.
Through research, city attorney Greg Aucoin determined it had to be bid out.
At the time the oversight was discovered, Thornton said he had wanted to purchase Berry’s property two years before but didn’t want to pay the price Berry wanted to sell it for.
The Sauces declined to bid on the property after the council’s decision in January, and three weeks later, Berry had decided she would keep her concession stand and the Recreation and Parks Commission agreed to extend the contract for a year.
However, they also unanimously denied Thornton’s request to open another concession stand on the park’s northern end near the judges’ stand within the fenced-in area of the park.
Later in the month at the city council meeting, the council agreed to renew a contract with Berry until March 30, 2012, and solicit proposals for a second concession stand on the north end of the park.
While bids were taken for the second concession stand and a bid was awarded, Barbier said no additional stand ever was placed at the park. He said he was unsure who was awarded the bid but that it wasn’t Thornton.