BAKER — The Baker City Council on Tuesday night voted to annex 50 acres of land off Groom Road, west of the city limits, for a potential new industrial development.
Red Stick Armature Works Inc., a large engine repair company on U.S. 61 in St. Francisville, is buying the land and plans to build at least one 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot warehouse on the site, Randy Herring, the real estate agent representing the company, told the council. Red Stick Armature will use the warehouse to store the engines it repairs, which are used in industrial plants, Herring said.
“This will be compatible with the community and shouldn’t affect property values in the Leland College area (near the site),” council member Pete Heine said.
“It’s going to be a great facility and mean jobs — well-paying jobs — for the community,” Mayor Harold Rideau said.
No numbers were available on the number of jobs that could come to the area as a result of the development.
The annexed property, which is adjacent to the old Renaissance Village, is owned by Recovery Development Group LLC and has “nothing but treetops” on it, Rideau said.
Council members Heine, Robert Young, John Givens and Charles Vincent voted in favor of the annexation. Joyce Burges was absent.
In other business, the council recognized newly elected council member Glenda Bryant, who will represent District 3 beginning July 1. Burges, who currently holds the seat, did not seek re-election. Bryant defeated former Baker School Board member Troy Watson in the April 9 runoff.
“I’m going to work very hard for my constituents in District 3,” Bryant told the council.
Heine, District 2, also won in the runoff, defeating challenger Cleveland Thomas.
“That was the most stressful campaign I have ever been in because Cleve Thomas’ family is like my family,” Heine said. “He ran a good campaign.”
City manager Darnell Waites was elected the next mayor in the runoff with former Baker Mayor Leroy Davis. Waites was not present at Tuesday’s meeting.
Outgoing Police Chief Mike Knaps told the council the website backgroundchecks.org recognized Baker as one of the safest cities in Louisiana, using FBI crime statistics to make the determination.
“This is a major accomplishment, and we have to let (incoming Police Chief Carl) Dunn and Waites know that they have to keep us No. 1,” Knaps said.
Baker Interclub Council President Carl Stages announced that the organization’s Citizen of the Year banquet will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at the Waterfront building in Greenwood Community Park in Baker. Tickets cost $15 and are available at the door.
Council member Charles Vincent reminded the audience that the Baker-Zachary Relay for Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society, is scheduled 5 p.m. Friday at the BREC Community Park in Zachary.