Mike Perlstein / Eyewitness News
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Last summer, the Plaquemines Parish Council spent $675,000 to buy this land on the parish's sparsely populated east bank.

The original purpose was to build a levee access road. But with properties for sale on either side at about one-third the cost, Councilman Percy Griffin pushed the more expensive land with a proposal that existing houses on the land could be turned into a long sought-after library and health clinic.

Most of the council ended up going along, but Councilman Kirk Lepine voted no and continued to raise questiong, including the fact that they property belonged to former Parish President Clyde Giordano.

'They voted yes because the intent was these properties were in good shape. That's why they gave their vote yes. Now we turn around and see, it's not,' said Lepine.

The house was touted as move-in ready for an East Bank library but after the purchase of the property, an inspection revealed that the house is unusable.

Griffin broke the bad news at yesterday's council meeting. He also proposed an ordinance requesting nearly $3 million to construct a new library and clinic from scratch.

After heated debated, he eliminated the clinic from the ordinance. The remaining $1.3 million for the library was then promptly shot down by a six-to-one vote.

Councilman Stuart Guey voted for the original land purchase. But now he is expressing some buyer's remorse.

'The buildings apparently turn out to be unusable. The library issue. The health clinic issue. Those were put out there during the sales pitch,' said Guey.

Guey said he hopes the property is still used for the access road -- something that Lepine says doesn't justify the price tag.

'We could have utilized the property a little further down. I fought it before and I just sat back yesterday frustrated,' said Lepine.

Councilman Griffin was out of town, but in a telephone interview today, he said he is not giving up on the Giordano property or a library and health clinic for his district. Giordano, the former parish president, could not be reached for comment.

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