The lake houses are not ready to be rented quite yet though, Matte said. “I would love to be able to give you a very specific date, but it is a little bit hazardous to do so,” Matte said. There are a couple of issues that have to be taken care of, including installing a phone line for the fire alarm systems, Matte said. “That work was under way, but unfortunately the weather is just preventing it from being completed.”
Each cabin will be rented at $175 per night and has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, is fully furnished and can sleep up to eight people, said Dwayne Barbier, the city’s recreation and culture director.
Though the exact time frame for the cabins to be available for rent is still uncertain, the city will start taking reservations for the cabins within the next couple weeks, Matte said.
The project involved collaboration by the City of Morgan City and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ Atchafalaya Basin Program. Construction of the cabins was done by LA Contractors of Thibodaux, and architect Carl Blum designed the lake houses, which was a five-year project, Blum said.
The building of the lake houses cost $850,000 with $575,000 of the funding coming from the Atchafalaya Basin Program’s capital outlay money, Matte said.
State Sen. Bret Allain, R-Jeanerette, who attended the ribbon cutting, announced that the Legislature approved $1 million in state capital outlay for the building of four more cabins at Lake End Park.
Matte and Allain signed a cooperative endeavor agreement between the city and state for the $1 million to build the lake houses.
“There wasn’t going to be any funding in the Atchafalaya Basin Program to build any more cabins for the foreseeable future, so I asked that we do a straight out capital outlay not through the basin program,” Allain said.
Eighteen cabins are planned for Lake End Park. The infrastructure, including electrical work, sewer lines and water lines, needed to accommodate the lake houses was made possible, in large part, through funding FEMA put into the park after Hurricane Katrina, when Lake End Park was used as a place for trailers used to house displaced refugees, Matte said.
“I think this serves as a wonderful example of what a partnership between all the folks … what can be accomplished in spite of funding,” said Atchafalaya Basin Program Acting Director Don Haydel.
“Sometimes you can get overwhelmed by the enormity of a task and the enormity of a project, but if you take it a step at a time, a lot can be accomplished,” Matte said.
The design money for the lake houses came under Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s administration, Matte said.
Matte said the lake houses will be able to accommodate company events and family reunions, he said. “We envision campers just taking advantage of just the beautiful natural resources that we have to offer.”