David Bennett, chief executive officer and president of the Livingston Economic and Development Council, addressing the Parish Council for the first time since accepting his position with the LEDC, said the past five years have seen remarkable growth in Livingston Parish and the future promises a continuation of that pattern for years to come.

“Growth in Livingston Parish over the past several years has been tremendous, and that bodes well for the future. I see great opportunities for growth in business and industry, and we can expect more residents who will be coming to our parish,” Bennett said.

Bennett said the parish’s very good school system, the availability of land, a superior transportation network and a dependable work force all contribute in making Livingston Parish a place where business and industry want to locate. “Companies are taking notice of what we have to offer here and we should all look forward to the great possibilities that we have for continued growth of our parish,” Bennett said.

He told members of the council that in the coming weeks he will meet with each councilman to discuss ways the council can work with the LEDC to help enhance the chances of bringing new business and industry to the parish.

“We will be looking to attract new businesses with high-quality jobs to Livingston Parish, and I know that I can count on you to help us with this effort,” Bennett said.

At the same meeting, the council voted unanimously to award a contract of $1.296 million to Corps Construction LLC for the Live Oak Junior High School wind retrofit project. Corps Constructors submitted the lowest bid for work in reinforcing two gymnasiums on the Live Oak Junior High campus.

The work is being funded through a grant of $2.049 million from the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

In another matter, the council unanimously voted to submit a grant request of $100,000 from the Community Water Enrichment Program for the continuation of water lines in the Haynes Settlement Water System near Springfield.

At the same meeting, the council deferred any action that would have authorized Parish Attorney Chris Moody to proceed with the condemnation process on abandoned and dilapidated property at 7978 Pine Bluff Road near Denham Springs. Roger Longerno told the council he still owns the property but that a dispute about ownership is ongoing. Longerno said that the property allegedly was purchased by another party at a sheriff’s sale a number of years ago but said he thinks he still owns the property.

Longerno said he has had to spend his own money trying to prove he still owns the property. The council, after some discussion, deferred on taking any action until title to the land and the buildings on them are clarified. Longerno said the council’s decision was agreeable with him, and he promised to return later when the title issue has been settled.

He agreed with the council that the land needed to be cleared.

The council also approved the preliminary site plan for the Timber Ridge RV Park proposed for land off U.S. 190 in the Walker area. The park will have eight spaces for recreational vehicles.

The council also approved the preliminary site plan for the Cottages at Beaver Creek located on Arnold Road near Greenwell Springs. However, council approval for this project is contingent on the developers providing proper servitude space for utilities in the subdivision and sufficient roadway for a turnaround. The project envisions eight lots in the small subdivision.