In fiery letter to port director, mayor compares port boss to Judas
BATON ROUGE - In a strongly worded letter to the director of the city's port, Mayor Kip Holden argued Jay Hardman overstepped his duties.
The letter was prompted by a debate over plans to build a barge cleaning facility south of LSU near a cluster of homes and a BREC park. The Port of Greater Baton Rouge owns the property and is set to make $120,000 a year off the lease to Tubal Cain.
Tubal Cain wants to set up its operation to remove chemicals from barges. When WBRZ first started covering the issue in February, it was reported the facility would require a flaring operation. Then, and in the months since, people who live near the proposed site have asked the state to block Tubal Cain's permit and Monday, two city leaders announced they will try to re-zone the property before the state issues a permit.
The state has maintained the estimated pollutants generated by the plant are lower than what is required to hold public hearings, but will have a set time.
Tuesday, the mayor joined the loud public outcry.
"Your fiduciary duties... do not trump the safety and livelihood of the people of this parish," Holden wrote in his letter. "You are willing to sacrifice the best interests of the citizens of Baton Rouge for a $120,000 a year contract."
"This is outrageous and a total disrespect of the people of our community," Holden continued. With a hint of sarcasm, Holden asked, "Why don't you throw in as a bonus 30 pieces of silver?"
Calls to the port for comment both Tuesday and Monday have not been returned.