Developer plans truck stop, fuel station in Welsh

Published 6:42 am Friday, February 3, 2023

A local developer is planning to build a new truck stop on the north side of Interstate 10 in Welsh, just north of the Henderson Implement building,

Welsh Mayor Karl Arceneaux said Thursday the developer recently purchased six-and-a-half acres to build the truck stop.

“I think this means growth for our town,” Arceneaux said. “Especially if we can get more property owners to sell that property in that area.”

Plans for the truck stop will include a fuel station and convenience store. It will also have parking for 22 18-wheelers, four diesel pumps and 10 gasoline pumps.

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The town is considering creating a new economic development zone to allow for an extra two-cents on sales tax generated from in-store purchases to finance infrastructure improvements for water, sewer and electricity services needed for the project. The additional tax would not be added to any fuel sales, Arceneaux said.

“The idea is to catch the transients who stop and spend money purchasing items inside the truck stop, so it would not affect our local citizens unless they shopped there,” he said.

The state allows parishes and municipalities to set up economic development districts to levy sales and use taxes and hotel occupancy taxes, where applicable, up to two percent to help offset the cost of infrastructure projects.

The city of Jennings is considering a similar economic development district and levying a one-cents sales tax to help subsidize a sewer lift relocation project to accommodate construction of Hebert’s Boudin and Cracklins store.

The town of Welsh is expected to spend $300,000 to improve water, sewer and electricity infrastructure to the truck stop, which projects $400,000 a month in inside store sales, according to Arceneaux. An additional two-cents sales tax would generate an additional $6,000 a month to help fund the infrastructure improvement project.

The truck stop is currently seeking permits from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to install driveways and culverts, but the DOTD wants them to do some frontage road improvements first, according to Arceneaux

He said the DOTD wants the the developer to make improvements to the intersection on the frontage road near the truck stop. Improvements include widening the radius on the turn on the access road and adding a concrete island with traffic signs.

“i don’t think this is fair for the developer to have to pay for the frontage road improvements when other traffic uses it,” Arceneaux said.

Construction for the truck stop is pending the permit approvals, Arceneaux said.