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Port OKs removal of old property titles

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 10:08 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District executive director has been give approval to cancel or remove from public records old property titles that might hinder economic development.

The Port of Lake Charles board of commissioners on Monday approved the submission at its regular board meeting.

The submission allows for Executive Director Bill Rase to undertake actions that are necessary to make the title to port property insurable.“We’ve run into a number of problems particularly with all of the development and all the lease options that we have going. Once we grant the options one of the first thing they do is examine the title,” said Mike Dees, general counsel for the port.

Dees said there is a number of items the billion-dollar companies leasing land on port property are wanting omitted from the title to alleviate creditors. Rase was given permission to cancel measures that are expired like old leases that are still public record.

“The title insurers, historically, have not been too picky but with these titles they have been picky,” Dees said.

Rase said it would give a clean “bill of health” for all port property.

“Some of the property is from the 1920s,” he said. “As we go through those and the title insurer goes to the courthouse, there is a lease hold from 1940 without an end. We have to supply that there is no active lease holder on that property besides the Port of Lake Charles.”

Rase said for example, companies do not want to insure mega-projects and find out they have to be off the property because they find out someone else owns 50 acres in the middle of it.

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