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|Police jurors narrow capital outlay requests|
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury revised its state capital outlay funding request list for fiscal year 2008-09, making its top priority the land acquisition for the proposed southeastern Ouachita industrial park.
Police jurors acted on the matter Monday at their regular meeting.
The parish is asking for $4 million in state capital outlay money to buy the land needed for the proposed industrial park in southeast Ouachita.
Police jurors Charles Jackson and Pat Moore recently met with state legislators. They said lawmakers said the capital outlay bill this year will be very tight.
Former legislator Willie Crain, who serves as the police jury's lobbyist, set up the meeting among the jurors and several local lawmakers.
Crain earlier this year suggested the police jury narrow its state capital outlay requests to improve its chances of receiving state funding. He said capital outlay requests that have the best chance of receiving state funding are those that spur economic development.
He also said the proposed industrial park would be a project that lawmakers would look at favorably.
Police juror Dorth Blade first proposed establishing a new industrial park in Ouachita Parish. He believes a southeastern Ouachita industrial district would help spur more economic develop in that area and create more jobs.
The second project on the parish's state capital outlay request list is the Interstate 20 frontage road in west Ouachita.
"We need to zero in on the top two items, and to even look at getting two would be a stretch this year," Jackson said.
Parish engineer Don Harrison in November submitted the request for the proposed industrial park, which would be located south of the interstate. The parish would need at least 200 acres for the site. The parish's other industrial park, located in western Ouachita Parish, is composed of 250 acres.
Both projects were submitted without any local funds dedicated to either project. Jackson said the presence of some local funds would increase the police jury's chances of getting state funding for those projects.
Harrison said he will try to identify some local matching funds for both projects and report back to the police jury at a later meeting.