A north Lafourche fairground known to host festivals, music and community events, has become a part of an unauthorized camp for crews of linemen under contract with Entergy.
Both the Chackbay Volunteer Fire Department and Entergy issued releases about the situation. The company says they never intended the fair grounds be used as a camp and pulled the contractors, even though the CFD says it would have been OK for them to stay.
The CFD issued a press release Saturday, saying that "the Chackbay Volunteer Fire Department has come under scrutiny for the use for the Chackbay Fairgrounds; we believe that the community will better understand after knowing the facts."
In that release, they say that groups had been calling to ask about previously scheduled and paid events planned for the fairgrounds would need to be rescheduled.
That's when the CFD says they learned that electrical crews were using the kitchen, pavilion, bathrooms and private storage areas of the fair grounds. They didn't know how long Entergy planned to use the property, so they called the company to ask, the release states.
Entergy then told CFD that the Chackbay Fairgrounds was an unauthorized camp that the company didn't know about.
Entergy told the CFD that they immediately called the electrical crew, and told them to clear out the camp, the release states.
CFD says they told Entergy that the linemen were welcome to stay; they just needed to know if events needed to be rescheduled.
But the company told the CFD that they'd already contracted locally for hot meals, showers and sleeping quarters for the linemen; the release states that Entergy's Constance Padgett said "Entergy assigned them lodging, that they (linemen) chose not use. They took it upon themselves to begin using this location. This is not an authorized Entergy site and Entergy cannot be responsible for any crews who have been using the facility."
Bottom line, CFD's message is: "While the Chackbay Fire Department wanted to support the electrical crews in our area it was not our decision nor request that they leave the fairgrounds."
We reached out to Entergy about the CFD release, and received this statement:
"Prior to Hurricane Ida’s landfall, Entergy Louisiana entered into a contract with the Chackbay Volunteer Fire Department to utilize the Chackbay Fairgrounds as a lay-down yard and staging site. This contract did not permit use of the facilities for lodging, restrooms or other similar purposes. Those contracts were given to other facilities for their use. The Fairgrounds site was only suitable for the contracted purpose of housing materials and equipment, not as a lodging site. We thank the CVFD for their partnership and support and look forward to this continued relationship as we work to restore our communities."
Here's the CFD's post, with the full release:
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