JENNINGS (AP) — Plans for a $5 million rum distillery in Lacassine are moving forward.

The Jefferson Davis Parish Police Jury on Wednesday approved an alcohol permit for Thomas Q. Litel for Louisiana Spirits to distill and sell high content alcohol.

The police jury also authorized the president to sign all documents related to reimbursement of an Economic Development Award Program grant for Louisiana Spirits. The grant will provide infrastructure support for the project.

Trey Litel, president of Louisiana Spirits, said construction on the facility is about 80 percent complete despite some delays that slowed the project.

“We are working more quickly now that the roofs are on because the interior work can happen regardless of weather,” he said.

The distillery plant inside the 12,000-square-foot warehouse is the No. 1 priority at this time, he said. The distillery is needed to make rum.

Louisiana Spirits will have full control of the entire year-around production from distilling to aging to bottling at its nearly 23-acre site, along the South Frontage Road of Interstate 10 in Lacassine.

It plans to produce 200 gallons of light and spiced rums a day using local ingredients, including raw Louisiana sugar and molasses, head distiller Jeff Murphy said. It hopes to expand the product line in the future to include other varieties.

A 6,000-square-foot visitors center — complete with a viewing room, tasting bar and retail shop — is included in the plans. A special exhibit spotlighting the history of the Louisiana sugar industry and rum production will be housed in the visitor’s center.

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com