EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 96-65

Mississippi River Road Commission


WHEREAS: the widespread deterioration of the historic Mississippi River Road Corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans (hereafter "Corridor") is a grave concern to both the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and the Department of Transportation and Development;

WHEREAS: the common goal of both departments is for the Corridor to become a viable scenic and educational resource for the State of Louisiana;

WHEREAS: the Corridor is approximately 70 miles in length and is located on both sides of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans; it encompasses the river, levees, adjacent lands, historical sites, and many historic and cultural resources of this state;

WHEREAS: in 1991, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the Corridor as one of the nation's 11 most endangered historic properties;

WHEREAS: the River Roads run the length of the Corridor, on both sides of the Mississippi River, and the citizens of the State of Louisiana have legitimate concerns regarding the status of the River Roads as a resource for tourism and as a scenic, historic, and cultural holding of the state;

WHEREAS: a vast majority of the historic homes which previously fronted the River Roads have been lost in recent years through neglect and deterioration;

WHEREAS: in response to this situation, the Department of Transportation and Development contracted with a consultant, the Mumphrey Group, Inc., for the preparation of a detailed study of the historic preservation problems facing the Corridor and for the preparation of a master plan which addresses those problems; and

WHEREAS: the State of Louisiana would benefit by having an advisory body to the consultant composed of individuals who have strong ties to the Corridor to serve as a resource regarding local concerns, interests, and information;

NOW THEREFORE I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: The Mississippi River Road Commission (hereafter "Commission") is created within the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

SECTION 2: The Commission shall be composed of 25 members who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The membership of the Commission shall be selected as follows:

  • A. four members of the Louisiana Legislature, who are elected from parishes which encompass portions of the Corridor;

  • B. the Commissioner of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, or the Commissioner's designee;

  • C. the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development, or the Secretary's designee;

  • D. the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, or the Secretary's designee;

  • E. the President of the Louisiana Preservation Alliance, or the President's designee;

  • F. the Director of the Louisiana Chemical Association, or the Director's designee;

  • G. four Police Jurors or Parish Council members who are elected from parishes which encompass portions of the Corridor;

  • H. two representatives from tourist development boards who serve and/or work in parishes which encompass portions of the Corridor;

  • I. two representatives from economic development groups which are based in parishes which encompass portions of the Corridor;

  • J. one representative from a recreational organization with activities related to the River Road;

  • K. the President of the River Road Historical Society, or the President's designee;

  • L. the Chairman of the Louisiana Preservation Alliance River Road Task Force, or the Chairman's designee;

  • M. the Pilot-President of the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, or the Pilot-President's designee; and

  • N. four members to be appointed at large from parishes which encompass portions of the Corridor.
  • SECTION 3: The Chair of the Commission shall be selected by the Governor from its appointed membership.

    SECTION 4: The Commission shall serve as an advisory body to the consultant, the Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism, the Department of Transportation and Development, the Department of Economic Development, and to all other state agencies involved in developing the Corridor into a viable resource for the state and in implementing the master plan. The Commission's duties shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A. receiving progress reports from the consultant and attending the scheduled public meetings;

  • B. reviewing the consultant's master plan prior to its issuance and timely critiquing it in advance of its issuance in final form;

  • C. notifying the constituents who live in the Corridor of the progress of the consultants and the labors of the Commission, and actively seeking the input of the constituents who live in the Corridor regarding the implementation of the master plan;

  • D. assisting state agencies in seeking and applying for federal funding to be used in implementing the master plan; and

  • E. assisting state agencies in obtaining the designation of the Corridor as a National Scenic By-way and as an All American Road.
  • SECTION 5: The Chairman of the Commission shall submit a report to Governor on January 5 of each year. The report shall detail the progress of the Commission and advise the Governor of any other actions which should be taken to preserve the Corridor and develop it into a viable scenic and educational resource of the state.

    SECTION 6: The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, or a per diem. Moreover, no member of the Commission shall be reimbursed for personal expenses.

    SECTION 7: This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 8th day of November, 1996.

    M. J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
    Governor

    ATTEST BY
    THE GOVERNOR
    Fox McKeithen
    Secretary of State