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|Trichel proposes industrial site near Guide|
Ouachita Parish could establish a new industrial park near the former Guide Plant in eastern Ouachita. The proposed industrial park would have the potential of evolving into a megasite for industrial concerns similar to Franklin Farms in Richland Parish.
Tana Trichel, Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance director, gave a presentation regarding the proposed "Pecanland Industrial Park." She made her presentation Monday at the Ouachita Parish Police Jury's regular meeting.
Trichel said a site selection committee with the NELA Economic Alliance recently looked at 10 developable sites within its 13-parish region. The committee looked at the sites to possibly establish a new industrial park at one of those locations.
The site selection committee found six properties that could be considered megasites.
Trichel said Millhaven properties near the former Guide Plant would be perfect for a new megasite because "it's a lot of land, it's on I-20, there's already access there, and the sewer, water, and electricity are all at the Guide Plant. So it wouldn't take a lot of money to bring it over to a new megasite."
She said the Millhaven properties incorporate about 2,000 acres with interstate access. The property also features a mile of access to railroad.
"We probably have the best rail configuration of any site in the nation," Trichel said. "We have great access to rail into Mexico, Canada and both coasts."
"Another thing that makes it attractive is U.S. Highway 80 runs virtually behind it," Trichel explained. "I can tell you there are compelling reasons the state would purchase a site like that. It's large enough to be in competition with any megasite in the nation, but until it's shovel ready, it won't be effective for industry.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to get a second certified site from the state. We would be the only place in Louisiana with two sites 30 miles apart."
The city of Monroe and the police jury asked NELA Economic Alliance to look at potential sites for a new industrial park.
Trichel suggested the city and parish propose resolutions to proceed with the process for state certification. She also suggested the city and police jury work together in securing a state certified site.
To have the Pecanland Industrial Park state certified, the city and parish would need to put up $37,500. The state would fund $75,000 for the certification process, which includes soil contour maps, site utilization layout, zoning, phase I and II environmental studies and cost estimates for roads, water, and sewer.
No action was taken by the police jury following Trichel's presentation.