A proposal to continue collecting an extra penny sales tax at the Louisiana Avenue exit off Interstate 10 died Tuesday at the Lafayette City-Parish Council meeting, but Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux hopes to revive the measure in the coming weeks.
The council in 2006 approved a special taxing district at the Louisiana Avenue/I-10 interchange, where the sales tax rate is 9 percent — a penny more than in the rest of the city.
The extra tax revenue has been used to repay about $9 million in debt for road work, drainage improvements and other upgrades to lure the Target-anchored shopping center now at the interchange.
The measure up for consideration Tuesday would have continued the extra tax and allowed the money to be used for additional infrastructure for future developments in the area, including one now being considered for a vacant tract northeast of the interchange.
“They’ve basically got a project teed up,” Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux proposed the tax extension, but none of his fellow councilmen offered a motion to bring the measure up for discussion, leaving it to die a procedural death.
After the meeting, at least two council members said they didn’t realize the issue was up for a make-or-break vote and would support discussing it.
Boudreaux said he plans to bring the proposal back to the council later this month.
Few specifics were available on the planned project northeast of the interchange.
The measure submitted to the council on Tuesday would have authorized borrowing up to $3 million for infrastructure improvements, including road work, street lights and the extension of utilities to the area.
That infrastructure would be used to support what was described in council documents as a 42-acre site expected to feature a large grocery store, a theater, several restaurants, a shopping center and at least one hotel.
Cecil Trahan, a broker for the owners of the site, confirmed in an interview after the council meeting that a Super 1 Foods is planned, but he declined to discuss other components of the development.
“It’s still too premature,” he said. “We do have a couple of major users in there. It’s pretty substantial.”
The total bill for the northern extension of Louisiana Avenue, including the I-10 interchange, is estimated to be $60 million by the time it connects to Gloria Switch Road near Carencro, but there has been little development along the new four-lane.
That could soon change.
In addition to the planned development northeast of the interchange, another project is on tap for a gas station and possibly a restaurant southeast of the interchange.
Follow Richard Burgess on Twitter, @rbb100.