History of the Port
In 1974, the Louisiana Legislature passed Act Number 604 to create the West. St. Mary Parish Port, Harbor and Terminal District. The creating legislation established a board of commissioners as the governing authority of the port. The port began to function in 1976 when Gary P. LaGrange was employed as the first Executive Director. The initial item of business was to select the most appropriate site. Seven different sites were studied. In July of 1977, the decision was made to locate the port on the site of Alice B Plantation near Louisa adjacent to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Soon after, the Port Office was purchased and is located at Highway 182 in Franklin.
In the late 1990s, the port initiated another land acquisition program under the direction of the new Executive Director, A. Philip Prejean. By the end of 2000, West St. Mary Parish Port Harbor and Terminal District owned approximately 945 Acres, a substantial increase since its first major acquisition.
In 2008, the Port entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement to purchase a 100 acre site south of Highway 90 on the west bank of the Charenton Navigational Canal. The Port is presently developing an Industrial Park. The Industrial Park contains an access slip of 3.7 acres of water frontage. Additional acreage will be subdivided along the primary roadway for future development.
In 2012, the Port employed David Allain as its new Executive Director. Presently, the Port owns and operates its own water system which serves residents and industry in the Louisa area. The port also owns and leases three buildings; a 36,005 square foot building, a 32,006 square foot building, and a 13,300 square foot building. Port facilities include 1300 linear feet of bulkhead available to handle general cargo. The port owns 3500 feet of rail spur which runs throughout the port complex. There are several fishery businesses that supply seafood throughout the state and beyond located near the Port complex. The Louisa site has full broad band coverage supplied by Gulf Coast Broadband. The Port owns 14 acres of land and buildings in Baldwin on the Charenton Navigational Canal. The buildings comprise a total of 79,973 square feet and are presently leased to LAD Services.
The primary mission of the Port of West St. Mary is local and regional economic development, port related and non-port related, that leads to the improvement in quality of life for the residents of St. Mary Parish and in neighboring areas.
Presently the Port owns 945 acres of property at its Louisa location, 105 acres at its Industrial Park location on the Charenton Navigational Canal, and 14 acres at the Baldwin location.