New tenant at Port of Morgan City

MORGAN CITY, La. — Inmobilaria Lamol LLC is officially the new tenant of the Port of Morgan City. Inmobilaria Lamol signed the lease agreement during the first weekend of December, said Jerry Gautier, Port of Morgan City commission president, at the Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District’s meeting Monday.

The contract is for five years with one five-year option to renew the contract at the end of the first five years, said Port Executive Director Jerry Hoffpauir. Inmobilaria Lamol will pay the port $10,000 per month for the first six months, and then the contract goes up to $53,000 per month after that, Hoffpauir said.

The contract will be adjusted for inflation every two years, Hoffpauir said.

Nestor Navarro of Inmobilaria Lamol will be the company’s local representative at the port, Gauthier said. Inmobilaria Lamol will have ships traveling across the hemisphere in the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin and Central America and will “try and bring work into this port,” Gauthier said.

“I appreciate all the support given to us. It’s been a long process, but it’s been worthwhile,” Navarro said. “We have a big challenge ahead of us, and we are hoping, praying that we can get the community’s support.”

Navarro talked with Morgan City Mayor-elect Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi before his election, he said.

“We want to bring business to the community. We want to create jobs,” Navarro said. “We cannot do it by ourselves. We will be a vehicle, a liaison of making things happen. I’m open to any type of business that we can grow together.”

The port completed an environmental assessment to provide a baseline for the new tenant, Inmobilaria Lamol, so the port can compare the starting point of the environment to when the lease expires, Gauthier said.

Capt. Jonathan Burton of the U.S. Coast Guard said Inmobilaria Lamol will be different than the previous tenant Cenac. “We’ll be doing more port state control work with Nestor’s group.”

Civil engineering firm, Moffat & Nichol, is still conducting an intense survey program in connection with the ongoing dredging contract to better define the shoal material in the channel of the Atchafalaya River to give it a true 20-foot depth, according to the status report. Results of studies, so far, show that, after dredging takes place, one foot of sediment builds back up every 14 days, said Maarten Kluijver of Moffat & Nichol. “We didn’t think it would be that much (buildup),” Hoffpauir said.

Final reviews for construction of the rock dike immediately upstream of Crewboat Cut in the Atchafalaya River are ongoing. The reviews will be complete on Dec. 21, according to the status report. Construction is contingent upon funding and execution of the cost share agreement, the report stated.

A preliminary assessment for the designation of Crewboat Cut as the Authorized Channel instead of Horseshoe Bend is under legal review, which is required for the district commander to sign the document, said Sarah Nash of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The designation would allow the Authorized Channel to be realigned to reduce the dredged material disposal requirements in the area, according to the status report.

The boat launch dock at the port is also being extended and five floating docks are being added to accommodate the U.S. Customs requirements, Hoffpauir said.

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