The Monroe City Council met for less than five minutes Tuesday afternoon to approve a resolution. The resolution allows city workers to waive several technical provisions in order to more quickly provide water to Charleston Industrial Park.
The 700 acre park is located on the south end of Monroe in Ouachita Parish. Owner Ken Anderson says he wants to annex the park into the city in order to receive city water, fire protection, and other benefits, while also helping the City of Monroe with tax dollars.
The entire council was present at the special meeting and all voted favorably for the resolution, with the exception of Councilwoman Betty Blakes.
January 24, 2013 Update:
The Monroe City Council will hold a special meeting next month to determine if they will waive several technical provisions in order to provide water to Charleston Industrial Park. The park owner, Kenneth Anderson, would like the to receive Monroe water and annex the land he's building inside Monroe City Limits. The special meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5 at 12:30 p.m.
Anderson says he'd hoped the city council would more quickly to schedule a meeting and get the project underway, but he is willing to wait until the February 5 meeting.
The city would have to install 1,225 feet of 12 inch water main on the eastern side of U.S. Highway 165 south of Richwood High School in order to bring water to the park.
January 22, 2013:
A new industrial park being built in Ouachita Parish petitions to be part of the city of Monroe - but is the city council on board?
The Charleston Industrial Park has already broke ground for Southeastern Freight Lines.There's a 700 acre plot of land sitting just south of the City of Monroe in Ouachita Parish on U.S. Highway 165 where the business is being built.
Project leaders say they contacted the Monroe officials in April of 2012 - about being annexed into the city and receiving city water. Economic Development Director Dwight Vines was leading the talks when he became ill later in the year, delaying the process.
Now construction is at a point where water is needed, so the legal department asked the city council Tuesday night to waive some city provisions in order to more quickly provide the services to the industrial park. But the council voted 3-to-2 to table the issue, delaying it for at least two weeks, unless a special meeting is coordinated.
Dr. Vines says he's concerned the council doesn't understand the benefit of having the industrial park as part of Monroe.
"The greatest advantage would probably be jobs." said Vines. He also says the city would received property taxes and additional sales tax revenue from the industrial park.
Monroe's Council Clerk says the city council is working to coordinate a special meeting in order to make a final decision on the issue. Chairman Eddie Clark says he hopes a meeting will be set for Friday or Monday. Charleston Industrial Park owner Kenneth Anderson says if city officials can make a move before the end of the week, he may be able to work with them.
The City of Monroe would have to put in about 12-hundred feet of pipe in order to provide water to the park, which is a small project, according to Dr. Vines.