Mayor: New Zachary bypass portion open _lowres

Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Zachary Mayor David Amrhein provided an update on city projects Oct. 29 at the Rotary Club of Zachary.

Zachary Mayor David Amrhein provided an update of city projects as guest speaker of the Zachary Rotary Club on Oct. 29.

Amrhein said the Emmie Drive tie-in to Wal-Mart, which is part of the Zachary bypass, is open, and the project was funded by Wal-Mart.

The fifth or center lane of Main Street is expected to be completed in May, while work on the Mount Pleasant Road-widening project from La. 964 to Barnett Road is back on track after a rain delay.

Amrhein said a new 70-room hotel is under construction next to Zachary Youth Park.

“The park has been a good revenue source for the city. It improves sales tax revenue to about a half-million annually,” he said.

Another revenue source for the city will be the new hotel tax, which will generate about $50,000 annually.

Residents won’t pay the tax, which was approved by Zachary voters Oct. 24, unless they stay at the hotel, and funds generated from the tax will go back into the park, Amrhein said.

The new Walk-On’s restaurant and bar to open inside the Americana development is set to begin construction in mid-November, he said.

“We’re a sales tax-driven community, which earns about $8 million annually, but less than a half-million comes from property taxes,” the mayor said. “It’s important we continue to grow retail-wise. I know you’re all sick of hearing me saying it, but there are two kinds of cities — growing and dying.”

Amrhein said Zachary has hired a city planner, Amy Schulze, to help navigate the Unified Development Code, which is updated about every five years.

Amrhein also thanked Rotary for its annual sponsorship of the firefighters’ banquet held Oct. 10.

Lastly, Amrhein promoted the city’s annual Christmas in the Village event slated for Dec. 11.

The holiday event will feature 5 tons of snow, gourmet food trucks and plenty of lights.