ST. FRANCISVILLE — Parish President Kevin Couhig outlined his plans for two economic development projects that could have a significant impact on West Feliciana Parish.
Couhig on Monday briefed the Parish Council on his plan to develop an industrial park in the southern part of the parish and a second proposal for a docking facility along the Mississippi River that would accommodate riverboats.
Couhig spoke about acquiring four separate parcels of land totaling more than 235 acres that would be developed by the parish into an industrial park. The four parcels are in the general vicinity of KPAQ Industries. Two of the sites have direct access to the river, while the other two are on the east side of the KPAQ plant.
The owners of the property have agreed to a price and now the due diligence phase of the process will begin with environmental studies and historical studies, he said.
“We have some work to do to make it available and permitted so then a price can be set,” Couhig said.
The industrial sites have a number of advantages, including access to a railroad track, close proximity to the interstate system and other roads, and plenty of water if needed. The fact the sites are away from the most-populated areas in the parish is also beneficial.
“It’s an area nobody sees unless they go down Highway 964; it’s next to the paper mill, so it’s a perfect area for industrial development,” Couhig said.
Eventually, he said, the plan is to get the sites into Louisiana Economic Development’s Certified Sites program, meaning they are ready for industrial development. Certified sites receive priority status in proposals and marketing support from LED.
Couhig also outlined a strategy for the parish to develop a site at the Mississippi Riverfront near the old ferry landing on La. 10 next to the mat-casting field.
Under the plan, the parish would sell two parcels on which it has purchase agreements, totaling 35 acres, for full value to the family of Leonard Sullivan in exchange for the donation of an eight-acre site by the Sullivan family. That site would be developed to accommodate the docking of riverboats, including a welcome center and other amenities.
“When we make the exchange, we will own it free and clear,” Couhig said.
He said he plans to make more-detailed presentations at a future meeting before the council votes on the two plans.