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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Council approves two local businesses for zone program

Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:33 AM

href="mailto:aperzo@americanpress.com"> By Andrew Perzo / American Press By Justin B. Phillips / American Press

Wednesday’s City Council meeting started with some reminiscing about the 2013 holiday season. Local shoppers may have noticed a more prevalent police presence at Prien Lake Mall as well as Target. The increased security was due in part to volunteers from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Ward 3 Marshal’s Office. The City Council, led by councilman John Ieyoub, commended the volunteers for their work. He said it will be nice for locals to hear about the selflessness of local law enforcement officers during the holidays.

“Stories that usually make the news are about people doing something wrong, breaking the law or are involved in some scandal or bad behavior. Every once in a while someone makes the news for doing something good,” Ieyoub said. “That’s what this is about. A group of men and women who during the busy holiday season, on top of their regular jobs and family obligations, gave their time to keep people safe.”

The volunteers from the Sheriff’s Office participated in the 10th annual Robbery Prevention Mobilization Program at the mall, and the volunteers from the marshal’s office provided extra security at Target.

“The deputies assisted shoppers with such things as helping them jump-start their car, change a flat, assist employees and shoppers by walking them to their car after dark and any other assistance they could provide,” Ieyoub said. “Mainly they made people feel safe while they were buying holiday gifts for their family and friends, and you can’t put a price on that.”

Two local businesses were approved and endorsed to participate in the Louisiana Enterprise Zone Program during the meeting. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. at 4400 Legion St. and AAR Aircraft Services Inc. at 1945 Merganser St. were both approved for participation by the council. The Enterprise Zone Program is a jobs incentive program that provides Louisiana income and franchise tax credits to businesses hiring at least 35 percent of new jobs from one of four targeted groups. The enterprise zones are areas with high unemployment, low incomes or a high percentage of residents receiving some form of public assistance. The program has been a hot topic at past City Council meetings, with several of the members discussing the location and practices of program participants within the city.

Ordinances were passed to appoint chairmen to review bids for the purchases of two dump trucks, one three-wheel sweeper, three refuse trucks and four pickup trucks. Ordinances for the city to advertise to receive sealed bids for eight other items, including more trucks and an excavator for use by the Public Works Department, were also passed.

The council passed an ordinance authorizing the city to advertise to receive sealed bids for a new transit bus wash facility. Mister Edwards, public works head, spoke at length about the facility during the meeting. He said the city vehicles are washed by hand and that the new facility would be able to wash every vehicle in the city’s fleet while also being low maintenance.

“There are no moving parts in this facility. You see these other car washes all the time with these moving parts. I didn’t want that style,” Edwards said. “I just wanted the style where you will move your vehicle through it. So the vehicle is going to move, not the building.”

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