Land swap proposal on the table

Attorney Paul Kitchens (left) and Webster Parish School Board member Jerry Lott

By WPJ Staff

A pair of local public bodies could be considering the barter system to pick up parcels of land that may prove important to future plans.

Talks are expected to speed up between the City of Minden and the parish School Board concerning a property swap that would give the school board Griffith Memorial Stadium while the city would pick up the site of a water plant on Clerk St.

During a city council workshop, Mayor Nick Cox said the school board has constructed a new softball field near Griffith Stadium. And, he pointed out, Minden High School wants to invest in the city-owned stadium. A swap makes sense for both entities, he said.

“I cannot see why the city of Minden needs a baseball field, and I don’t see why we should hold Minden High School back from investing in that stadium,” Cox said.

Griffith Stadium sits on approximately 3.74 acres and the Clerk St. property is roughly the same. If the swap becomes a reality, the city plans to use capital outlay funds to expand existing tanks for additional water storage.

Mayor Cox said he had met with representatives of the school board and Minden High, and both sides “…wanted to do it, but no deals were made.” Cox presented the idea to the council during its workshop; the school board discussed the swap at its last meeting.

Attorney Paul Kitchens has been researching necessary documents on the potential land swap for the school board. Kitchens told board members his search showed title is clear on both properties, with the Clerk St. property still under lease to the city.

In the event the two entities were interested in making the swap, properties would have to be surveyed and the bodies would have to pass a resolution to authorize the exchange and to put in place a cooperative endeavor agreement. 

Kitchens said from a legal perspective the exchange could be made with no difficulties. And, he added, it’s an exchange that makes sense for both parties.

Neither the city nor the school board indicated a time table for more discussions on the issue.

Griffith Stadium is owned by City of Minden

City Water Plant is on property owned by Webster Parish School Board.