Posted: Nov 18, 2010 5:54 PM by MIKE MAGNOLI
Updated: Nov 18, 2010 6:24 PM
State budget cuts are flagging a St. Landry Parish ferry to be permanently out of service.
The Melville ferry crosses the Achafalaya River to Pointe Coupee Parish and will no longer operate after the end of the year.
The State DOTD intends to stop running this ferry on Dec 31st. Officials say only about 2 thousand cars cross the river at this spot every year, and that's not enough, not cost effective--
But a group of concerned citizens from St. Landry Parish beg to differ- including the Mayor-Elect of Krotz Springs, Carroll Snyder.
"Farm equipment moves over on the ferry, we have lots of employees who work in Pointe Coupee and St. Francisville, people go over to the state prison at Angola."
One woman, leading the charge to keep the ferry showed KATC a hanful of polaroids showing tractors coming and going on the ferry. Judith Thomasson and her husband own fields on the other side of the river and they're organizing a rally on the Capitol steps to convince the state to save the ferry.
"Its not just going to be a financial hardship, its also a safety hazard to have that large farm equipment on the main highways or on the spillway bridge."
If the ferry is taken away the nearest place for vehicles to cross is 30 miles away.
Mark majors- Manager of the local paramedic service worries about elderly drivers--
"It used to take them 7, 8 or 10 minutes, now it's going to take them an hour."
The Melville ferry and two others in the state are on the chopping block--folks who want to keep the boats running head to baton rouge next Tuesday.