GONZALES — The City Council unanimously approved an economic incentive package Monday worth up to $76,000 intended to lure an entertainment complex to the former Walmart building near Airline Highway and La. 44.
The package, proposed by the Ascension Economic Development Corp., includes a 2-cent sales and use tax rebate on improvements made by the tenants that would cost the city between $40,000 and $60,000, said AEDC President and CEO Mike Eades.
The AEDC is also recommending that the project participate in the Restoration Tax Abatement program, which is managed by the state’s office of economic development.
This program forgives property tax for five years on the improvements to the property. This program’s cost to Gonzales is estimated to be $8,000 to $16,000, according to AEDC documents.
The city would still continue to collect property tax based on the building’s original assessment.
Eades said the city’s earnings after one year of full operations is projected to be between $70,000 and $146,000, and the project is expected to bring 70 jobs — 16 full-time and 54 part-time. The complex is expected to include a movie theater, bowling alley, an arcade and laser tag game facility, according to the package.
In other business Monday:
LMA AWARD: Mayor Barney Arceneaux announced that the city was named the Louisiana Municipal Association’s “Best of Show” this weekend at the organization’s 2010 Community Achievement Awards.
The honor was in recognition of the city’s $3.8 million water system improvement project. The project included a new water tower and larger transmission lines to raise water pressure in the area along Interstate 10, “an area ripe for future economic development with new hotels under construction, new subdivisions, retail and commercial facilities and new schools, all of which will be able to comply with fire protection codes as a result of the project,” according to a release from the LMA.
This is the second time Gonzales has won the title since the award was established 10 years ago, Arceneaux said.