The Leesville City Council postponed its vote on Monday to approve the annexation of Entrance Road, after the mayor disclosed that public legalities had not been met in time.
The annexation of the highway that leads to Fort Polk’s main gate was on the agenda for Monday’s Council meeting for a public hearing on the matter, to be followed by a vote by council members. While the item had been introduced earlier this month, Allen said the public notice for the hearing had not appeared in the city’s official journal for the required amount of time.
“The public hearing notice should have been advertised for ten days, but it only appeared for 8 days before the meeting,” Allen told the American Press.
The item was reintroduced and the public hearing has been rescheduled for the July 13 City Council meeting.
The delay will now mean that businesses located along the highway must wait at least three more weeks before the process can begin at providing them access to public water and sewer, an issue that has long plagued the military installation’s introductory highway.
The highway has struggled to maintain businesses due to the lack of access to public water utilities, and Allen said that despite the delay in approving the annexation he remains excited for what is in store for that area.
“It is going to be so great for that area, it has been a strong need for far too long,” Allen stated.
The annexation will also mean that the area will now be subject to Leesville city ordinances and codes, and while some have expressed concern for what those ordinances may bring, Allen said he has already seen businesses taking initiative to clean up their locations.
“We won’t be coming in with an iron fist immediately, but we do want to see the area cleaned up. Already, I’ve seen business owners cutting the grass and taking care of other things in preparation and that shows me they are just as excited about this as we are,” he stated.
The city has also filed for a $6 million federal grant to fund the improvements to the highway, which will also includes adding traffic lights.