Sasol, Mossville-area agreements to sell homes top 200

By By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Owners of more than 200 properties in Mossville and Brentwood have agreed to sell their homes to Sasol through the company’s Voluntary Property Purchase Program.

Mike Hayes, Sasol’s public affairs manager for U.S. megaprojects, said the company has extended 299 property purchase offers to residents — 210 of which have been accepted. He said 84 offers are pending and that two property owners, who collectively own five pieces of property in the area, have rejected Sasol’s offer.

“We’re working through the process,” Hayes said. “We have to get the appraisals done, and when they are done we have to make an offer. Then the owners have a period of time to decide. Most people are using that period of time to look and see what’s available and see what they can afford. But we’re getting a lot of acceptances, and we’re doing a lot of closings.”

Sasol’s purchase area is composed of 926 parcels, both residential and vacant, spread across more than 600 acres. Owners of 64 residences — 62 in Mossville and two in Brentwood — opted out of the program and are expected to remain in the area as construction on Sasol’s multibillion-dollar ethane cracker and gas-to-liquids complex begins.

Hayes said Sasol hired the Lafayette-based engineering firm Fenstermaker to assist the petrochemical company in finding ways to get clean water to the 64 residences. He said Sasol officials are also working with parish officials, area water and sewer districts, and the state Department of Health and Hospitals to get answers on how water and sewer will be managed during construction.

From the program’s inception in August, Sasol officials said Mossville and Brentwood residents would get better than fair market value for their homes. Hayes told the American Press in January that all residents who have accepted Sasol’s offer are getting at least 160 percent of their home’s appraised value.

Hayes said Thursday that a number of property owners who did not sign up for the program have requested that Sasol reopen it.  

“We have not made a decision on that yet,” he said. “I can’t say if we will or won’t. We were pretty adamant in December that people should’ve made up their mind by the deadline. But there may be some special circumstances that we will consider.”

The program’s sign-up period ended Dec. 4. Residents who signed up for the program before Nov. 4 were given a $1,000 early sign-up bonus, which they’ll receive at closing.