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Informer: Board never sold interest in Mossville school

Last Modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 2:54 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

In the Mossville settlement, the Calcasieu Parish School Board was given money for the Mossville school, which was no longer a school at that time.

It, the CPSB, was also allowed to continue using the property, unlike the other property owners, who were given a time limit to accept the offer or not participate, with no opportunity to do so after the time had passed.

What was the money given for and why are they, the CPSB, now able to sell the property?

The board never sold an interest in the school, and a preliminary title opinion from Sasol, which recently agreed to buy the property, shows no prior-sales issues, school system officials said.

The money the school system received was payment for environmental damage, they said.

Mossville residents in 1997 reached a $16 million settlement with Conoco, previous owner of the nearby plant, and parent company DuPont in a lawsuit over groundwater contamination.

Under a second settlement, totaling $32 million and reached the following year, then-owner Condea Vista, which Sasol bought in 2001, agreed to set up several funds to compensate plaintiffs and buy out property owners.

Among the funds was one established to pay the School Board $50,000 a year for a decade.

Groundwater in the area beneath the plant was found to contain ethylene dichloride in the early 1980s. Residents of Mossville, which is across the street from the plant, filed suit in 1995.

The School Board earlier this month announced that it would sell the old Mossville Elementary School, on Old Spanish Trail, for $9.5 million to Sasol, which plans to expand its facility over the next several years.

The company has said it will use the school, which housed offices for the school system’s Academically Gifted Program, as an administrative site.

The School Board has said it will use the sale proceeds to balance its budget and stave off job cuts.



Green anole native to Louisiana, South

The green anole lizard, which is common in Southwest Louisiana, is it a native species, and what is its lifespan?

The green anole, or Anolis carolinensis, is native to Louisiana and other parts of the South and can be found from the East Coast to central Texas.

“Green anoles have a lifespan ranging from 2 to 8 years, determined largely by predation,” reads Animal Diversity Web, a site maintained by the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

“Lifespan in captivity is similar to that in the wild, approximately 4 to 6 years, and dependent on proper care and conditions.”

Online: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu.

• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com

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