Jennings to annex land for new tractor dealership

Published 2:35 pm Friday, April 14, 2023

Plans for a tractor dealership are moving forward after the Jennings City Council agreed Tuesday to annex 10 acres of rice fields on the city’s north side.

Sunshine Equipment, which currently has tractor dealerships in Lake Charles, Welsh, Crowley, Eunice and surrounding areas, petitioned the city to annex property on the North Service Road for construction of a new John Deere dealership, according to Mayor Henry Guinn. Dirt work at the site has already begun.

Guinn said the annexation will allow the city to provide water and other utility services to accommodate the new tractor dealership, as well as other nearby businesses including a mobile home dealership, nursing home and a proposed 18-wheeler dealership, if they petition to be annexed into the city.

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“Sunshine Equipment has bought 10 acres of property which will be used to build a large John Deer dealership and we are working to accommodate their utility needs,” Guinn said. “They will need adequate water and sewer.”

The property is currently served by a rural water district, but it does not meet the State Fire Marshal requirements, Guinn said.

The city is seeking capital outlay funds from the state to install a 12-inch water line and a small sewer lift station to accommodate the businesses and any future expansions.

The city has received $1.5 million in capital outlay funds to install a sewer lift station behind the Bethel church on La. 102 which will help with future development in the area, Guinn said.

“There has never been a desire to install water lines outside of Jennings (city limits), which has slowed economic development,” Guin said. “We have taken the incentive to see that utilities are in place – inside and outside the city limits – to accommodate economic growth and any developer who wants to develop in our city and needs our service.”

The city recently worked with the owners of Hebert’s Boudin and Cracklins to relocate a sewer lift station to accommodate the construction. Guinn said that has spurred a lot of interest in economic development for the city, particularly on the city’s north side.

“I think there will be more petitions to annex into the city and we are taking them n a day-by-day basis,” he said. “We will not do anything to jeopardize the city’s finances. It has to make economic sense for us to go in and assist.”

No private company or nearby residents have shown concern for or opposed the annexation plans, Guinn said.