Locals fight to save Plaquemine lock
PLAQUEMINE- Iberville Parish and Plaquemine leaders are fighting to save one of their beloved historic sites. The Plaquemine Lock is one of three state run sites getting the axe after the mid-year budget cuts.
Residents say they were shocked when they heard the news. "Its just part of Plaquemine, its been here for years," said resident Joanne Sherwood, "as a child I lived in Turnerville and went to the old catholic school. I walked everyday across the lock to and from school."
City and parish leaders say they are in the early phases of brokering a deal with the state to keep the site open. The deal may mean the local governments taking on the majority of costs related to running the site.
The site is scheduled to be closed indefinitely on March 15, but local leaders say they're optimistic they can keep the site open. In 2011, the city and parish took on a larger portion of operation costs after the state considered closing the site.
The lock no longer functions, and a levee running along the Mississippi River cuts off the water flow between Plaquemine Bayou and the river. The site includes a museum with two workers, one full-time and one part-time.
The decommissioned lock is over 100 years old, and was an integral part of the city. The lock has been designated a historic site for decades, but a relatively low level of visitors sealed the sites fate last week.
According to Iberville Parish officials, any state historic site receiving less than 5000 tourists a year was considered for closure. In 2014, the lock had 3300 visitors.