Agreement in place to fund I-210/Cove Lane improvements

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The Port of Lake Charles has agreed to enter into an intergovernmental cooperative agreement with Louisiana Department of

Transportation and Development to help fund the I-210/Cove Lane road improvements.

The agreement is relative to the sharing of head tax and room tax revenues from the future $500 million Ameristar Gaming Resort

Development, Port Director Bill Rase said at the port’s Monday meeting.

DOTD asked for local participation to help with the project — about $20 million over the next five years to be shared among

all the participating entities, Rase said.

The money will be used for partial funding of some I-210/Cove Lane road improvements. The total for the construction will

be between $57 million and $80 million, so the $20 million will be apart of that, he said.

Besides the port, the agreement will

likely include several other taxing revenue receivers — City of Lake

Charles, Calcasieu

Parish Police Jury, Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitor’s

Bureau, McNeese State University, Sowela and the Calcasieu

Parish School Board. The other entities are expected to approve

the measure as well, Rase said.

“The $20 million will come off the top of the tax base,” Rase said after the meeting. “It will take $4 million each year off

of the top of the tax base and supply that to DOTD. It’s limited to the new casino — once it’s up and running.”

Rase said the port is supporting the measure because it will be a “big advantage for the whole community.”

“It should at least help the casino in some fashion,” Rase said. “Hopefully, it will help the Nelson Road situation, where

not as much traffic will have to go through the Nelson Road interchange.”