LC Council approves hurricane, COVID relief package

Kathleen Hilliard

The City Council has approved four ordinances containing separate parts of Mayor Nic Hunter’s proposed local relief package.

The impact that the city of Lake Charles has felt financially due to COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura and Delta is still felt by most of the community, and this package aims to provide some economic relief to residents and businesses, Hunter said.

The package includes the four following initiatives: a 50 percent reduction in occupational licenses for 2021 with a maximum benefit of $100 per business in relief, a 30-day extension before penalties and interest begin to accrue for 2021 occupational licenses, a water bill assistance program, and a waiver of public transit fees beginning on Dec. 17 until the end of February 2021.

“I want to thank the council for their consideration and support, and they certainly had input into this local relief package. What we did tonight was pretty historic, and I don’t know if the city of Lake Charles has ever done anything like this. We’re going through some unprecedented times right now so it’s going to take some unprecedented action — it’s going to take some out-of-the-box thinking. What we did tonight was a good response, it’s not all we can do but it’s a good start,” said Hunter.

The Council also approved another development, the construction of a retail store within the Enterprise Boulevard Economic Development District.

“I’m really excited about that. One of our goals was to see economic development in some geographic areas of Lake Charles that are a little underserved,” said Hunter, explaining that this will do much to improve the location economically and benefit businesses already existing there.

 The area is already under a multi-million dollar economic development project with Acadian Ambulance Service. The building, formerly Dimmick Supply Co., will be undergoing a “complete overhaul” and Acadian Ambulance is anticipating the location being in operation by the summer of 2020.

    

         Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter meets with Gov. John Bel Edwards near the Civic Center after Hurricane Laura crushed the region in late August.

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