WALKER — The City Council amended its 2015 budget Monday to include more than $225,000 for improvements to Industrial Park Drive — a project city leaders said could help to draw more businesses to the industrial park.
The budget amendment, which draws funding from the city’s half-cent sales tax, covers only a portion of the $4.6 million in roadway rehabilitation work being co-funded by the state and parish.
“It sounds like a big investment from the city, and it is,” Mayor Rick Ramsey said. “But it’s a multipartner investment … and the city’s investment is comparatively small.”
The project includes improvements to the existing road, which crosses the Canadian National railroad tracks and serves as the only access route to the Livingston Parish Industrial Park, as well as expanding the city’s water and sewer infrastructure there.
Fred Raiford, the city’s chief of operations, said plans for the project are under review, and the city-state agreement, which normally takes months to complete, should be in city officials’ hands next week.
“We should be able to get the next phase underway by September, maybe even faster,” Raiford said.
In other business, the City Council voted to set the city’s property tax millage rate for 2015 at 2.20 mills.
City Clerk Myra Streeter said that while the rate remains the same as in 2014, residents should expect to see an increase in their tax bills based on a rise in property values.
The City Council also set a special meeting for 6 p.m. June 29 to receive the city’s annual audit report. The item had been on Monday night’s agenda but was tabled to give auditors at Hannis T. Bourgeois a little more time to complete the report.
Follow Heidi R. Kinchen on Twitter, @HeidiRKinchen, or call her at (225) 336-6981.