Airport Site to House Temporary Workers in RVs

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December 7, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Temporary workers may soon have a new option for housing while in Houma, La.

The Houma Airport Commission gave preliminary approval Thursday night (Dec. 3) to create a space on airport property where welders, electricians and other itinerant workers coming in and out Houma for jobs could park recreational vehicles, according the the Daily Comet, Bayou Lafourche, La.

“There’s a demand,” said Thane Aucoin, a real-estate developer who told the commission he has successfully operated such a park for about five years with his brother Blane in Amelia. “It’s a new type of housing.”

Aucoin said it would cost between $200,000 and $250,000 to develop a park capable of housing 28 vehicles on a piece of subleased airport property at the corner of Jennings Road and Grand Caillou Road.

The brothers would run the complex and charge $350 to $400 per month for the stays, which could range from a few days to several months. They would provide complete utility and sanitation hookups, as well as other amenities like Internet and a close commute to the many welding shops and shipyards nearby.

According to Aucoin, such a spot would fill a niche for workers who travel extensively for jobs but want to avoid pricey hotels and short-term rentals.

But because they are typically financially stable homeowners when they’re not on the road, such laborers will prove reliable tenants, Aucoin said.

“We take a lot of pride in what we own,” Aucoin said. “There’s only one way to do things: Do it right.”

David Slayter, the airport’s deputy director who will take over as director next month, said he was skeptical about the proposal at first but had been won over once he heard more details. One of his concerns: That the occasional inhabitants would become permanent tenants, which would not be allowed. Airport officials discussed a three-month limit for tenants.

“It wouldn’t be an eyesore, but a first-class operation,” Slayter said. “It may be a small impact, but every little bit helps.”

No figures for how much money the park might bring in for the commission were available.

Ronney Picou, a commission member and longtime RV enthusiast, said the only nearby parks he knew of were in Bayou Blue and Gibson, a long commute for prospective workers.

“I’d like to see us work with them,” he said.

The airport commission’s approval rests on the investors’ securing the necessary permits, a process that must be completed with the parish before any construction could begin.

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