Property owner makes case for marina at Port
John Tesvich, owner of a parcel of property on the West St. Mary Port slip, told the port commission Tuesday he wants to build a docking facility there that is mostly commercial with only a small recreational aspect.
Tesvich, a co-owner of AmeriPure Oyster in Franklin, filed an application for a coastal use permit with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to build the marina on Sunrise Road along the channel. The commission sent a resolution to DNR in December opposing the project, expressing misgivings about locating a recreational facility in an industrial site. Some port tenants also weighed in with their disapproval.
Tesvich was not at that meeting, but said at the port’s Tuesday meeting that he purchased the property last year. Tesvich said he is not in the recreational marina business. As a fourth generation oyster grower, Tesvich said he purchased the property for multiple uses, including offloading oysters and possibly other seafood. He noted that there are other oyster docks in the port area already.
He also owns Tesvich Enterprises, a Marine construction operation, and the facility would be utilized by that business as well, Tesvich said.
Tesvich implied that the port’s opposition to the marina might have been in the interest of preventing competition with existing port tenants, but commissioners denied that, saying their concerns were solely with mixing recreational traffic with industrial.
“I don’t plan on having $600,000 yachts in here like someone said at the last meeting,” Tesvich noted. “This project is multi-dimensional.”
Tesvich said there would be no boat landing on the site, and the boat slips deemed for recreation use would be leased as well as used by himself.
“I know Twin Brothers is there across the canal,” he said. “They’re blasting and painting. I don’t think we have a big issue there. I know they would rather not have anyone across the canal, but is that what you (the commission) want?”
The commission agreed to reconsider Tresvich’s proposal at its February meeting.
Also Tuesday, the commission agreed to fund $3,525, to moisture proof and ventilate the underside of the commission’s office in Franklin. The commission paid for some $2,000 worth of damage to the facility in 2004 due to moisture damage.