POSTED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 9:38am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Thousands of jobs hang in the balance in Livingston Parish as the Juban Crossing Project continues to stall. Lawmakers are now just a few steps away from getting the funds through the state that they believe will jump start it through legislation.
Kristi Clark, property manager for the Village at Juban Lakes apartments, said for years potential tenants have asked her the same question; when will work actually start on the nearby Juban Crossing Development?
"You do have some interest and curiosity in it, but it's just kind of one of those, we've heard it a couple times, when is it going to happen? But personally I would love to have the shopping right there," Clark said.
Clark said they’re also hoping could draw new tenants to the apartment complex.
"They really want to live close to where they work, so that would drive interest in our community because we are so close to that shopping center," Clark explained.
Area lawmakers are hoping that with a little legislation the project can finally get off the ground. They are asking for a $45 million dollar bond from the state, a bond that they plan to pay back with sales tax revenue for goods sold in the Economic Development District.
"The developers have put millions in to trying to upgrade it to be commerce ready and in doing so the state's involvement will be huge in getting this project started," explained Senator Dale Erdy, the bill’s author.
He explained that the bond money would be used to build up the infrastructure around the proposed development. Senator Erdy attempted to get a similar bill passed last session, but failed to get the proposed law past the governor’s desk.
"It really comes down to, will the governor be with us this time? And we really hope he will. It would really mean a lot to Livingston Parish. Right now they're gaining nothing off this property. We’re gaining nothing off this property," explained Parish President Layton Ricks.
The bill to create the Economic Development District fund just has to pass through the house before going to the governor.