AG’s I-20 Opinion Delayed

The most newsworthy item at last night’s meeting of the Interstate 20 Economic Development District’s Board of Directors wasn’t on the agenda – an update on the request by Louisiana Delta Community College for $600 thousand.

A requested opinion from Louisiana’s Attorney General on the legality of such a donation was rejected because it wasn’t submitted by Board Chairman Otis Chisley. The letter had been written by attorney Louis Scott, per a motion made at the 9/11/14 meeting.

Chisley said he would be sending a letter shortly. “We’re going to redo the letter and send it back, so we can make a formal request to see what their opinion is about the donation of the $600 thousand,” Chisley said.

The possible expenditure will have to be reconciled on what may be a lack of sufficient money to fund the request, according to a 9/24/14 story by the Ouachita Citizen’s Zack Parker. Wrote Parker:

The Interstate 20 Economic Development Corp.’s governing board has pledged to spend more money on ongoing and future infrastructure and economic development projects than it has at its disposal.

Prior to entertaining Delta’s proposal, the I-20 board had voted to commit some $16.5 million toward 15 projects though the corporation only has $13.9 million in the bank, according to the I-20 board.

In other business, the board heard from Gene Tarver, representing Cooper Truck Center, a business located at 6800 Frontage Road. Tarver said that owner Larry Cooper owned land adjacent to his business that he wanted to develop, and was asking the board to fund sewer and water service for the property.

Demon Engineering’s Chris Patrick said that his preliminary estimate was that the sewer line would cost about $82 thousand, and the water line would run about $30 thousand.

It was said the property appears to be within Monroe’s corporate limits, within the boundary of the I-20 district, and the request fit the description of the district’s charge for economic development. Chisley said the group would take the request under advisement and make a decision shortly.

About 1 1/2 hours of the nearly two-hour meeting was spent in executive session, discussing negotiations for right-of-way acquisitions.

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