GONZALES — The City Council unanimously approved an economic incentive package Monday to help attract Project Trawl, a manufacturing/distribution/office complex that could bring 90 jobs to the area.

“And those are well-paying jobs,” said Mike Eades, of the Ascension Economic Development Council, adding salaries would average about $52,000 per year, $4.68 million in total payroll.

The vote granted AEDC’s recommended rebate of the city’s 2-cent sales tax on new construction and purchase of initial equipment for the facility, a city expense of about $97,000.

The developers are interested in a piece of undeveloped land on La. 44, between La. 30 and Interstate 10 in Gonzales, and eventually would make an estimated $10.1 million in improvements to the site, if Gonzales is chosen.

Eades told the council the project has preliminary approval for two state incentives programs: Quality Jobs and the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

Under ITEP, the company’s new building and most of its personal property would be exempt from city property taxes for 10 years, Eades said, but the city could still reap an estimated $34,600 per year for taxes on land, non-exempt property and inventory in the first decade.

Eades said Gonzales is in competition with two other communities: one in Louisiana and one in Texas.

GRANT APPLICATION: New Federal Highway Administration guidelines for street signs mean municipalities must replace the 4-inch white signs with black lettering with 9-inch blue signs with 6-inch reflective lettering.

While cities have until 2018 to replace the signs, City Clerk Clay Stafford said the city is applying for $50,000 in Louisiana Government Assistance Program Funds to finish the project sooner.

According to the grant application, the new signs will help emergency responders, police and firefighters reduce response time. The project is expected to cost $108,000.

MAYOR NAMED TO LMA POSITION: According to a news release from the Louisiana Municipal Association, Mayor Barney Arceneaux has been appointed to serve as one of its five vice-presidents-at-large.

Arceneaux was recently appointed to the LMA board.