Val's Marina closing
MAUREPAS - There's an $11 million plan to purchase flood-prone properties in Livingston Parish and either tear them down, or raise them above flood levels.
In the next year and a half, the parish plans to tackle about 90 low-lying properties. Most of them will be elevated to comply with flood standards and to help ease insurance costs for property holders. Owners will pay a quarter of the cost to raise their property, the parish will cover the rest with disaster money, left over from Hurricane Isaac.
Five properties are set to be demolished. One is Val's Marina, a popular marina restaurant and bar.
Val's, along the Amite River on Highway 22 in Maurepas, has been in the same family since 1962. Owner Nicole Bell says even the employees have stuck around.
"I have some other employees who have been here 30-35 years," she said.
With nearly every storm, Val's Marina has flooded. The worst was during Hurricane Isaac when the restaurant took in about four feet of water. Just before reopening, more water flooded the building.
"Shortly before they opened they got a few more inches back in here," said server Victoria Hunt. "I mean, after you worked so hard, that's devastating."
The restaurant owners say the news is bittersweet but understand what the parish is doing with the properties.
Val's Marina says there isn't an exact closure date, but it could be as soon as the end of January.