Police Jury’s executive committee discusses options at Industrial Pk.
Adding economic development at the Industrial Park dominated much of the discussion of the Evangeline Parish Police Jury’s Executive Committee hearing Monday.
Secretary-Treasurur Donald Bergeron reported to the committee there are 91 acres remaining in the big tract of the Industrial Park.
Bergeron stated, “The whole discussion is does the jury want to consider doing some kind of development to open it up to businesses if they wanted to buy property. And, if we do, then we have to discuss how we are going to get them to that property.”
He continued, “The property that will front Maxie Rae is the most valuable property being its along that road, but there’s no utilities there. That would all have to be developed.”
Committee chairman Ryan “Leday” Williams expressed, “This is something that would have to be a collaboration between this board and the Industrial Development Board.”
“To me,” he continued, “business is business. We would like industries, but I would like to see it to where we could develop a portion of what we have available to allow smaller businesses. I’m about creating jobs for individuals that stay in our area.”
Committee member Bryan Ardoin proposed selling one-acre lots along the north and south sides of Maxie Rae.
Present at the meeting was Evangeline Parish Industrial Development Board President William “Tojo” Ward.
Ward stated, “At our last meeting, we discussed the possibility of opening it up to smaller tracts for smaller businesses. The theory behind that is we get somebody in the park. If we get one, we might get two. If we get two, we might get three.”
He continued, “Then, you have, essentially, a big business with still some room for the northern tract on Maxie Rae to add more acreage. We had looked at the possibility of purchasing additional property north of Maxie Rae if needed for a big manufacturing business.”
Committee member Lamar Johnson then responded to Ward’s comments. “My idea is to open it up and sell,” Johnson said. “If you’re waiting for another Cameron to come along and walk in, that’s not a very effective business idea. Sell to whoever wants to go in business. Put it up for sale and move the thing. It’s not making us any money, or the parish, or anybody else any money sitting vacant except for cutting a little hay on it.”
Ward, agreeing with Johnson, went on to say, “It’s time to open it up and let some businesses in there.”
He added, “We never had a set of rules or parameters. That has to be done. I think it would be wise to form a committee of police jury members and IDB members, and we could look at things that have to be addressed.
The executive committee voted to form a committee and voted for Ward and IDB Vice President Wayne Vidrine along with police jurors Ryan “Leday” Williams, Bryan Vidrine, and Kevin LaFleur to serve on the committee.
For more coverage of Monday’s police jury meeting, pick up a copy of Sunday’s edition of the Ville Platte Gazette.