Broussard seeks land for industrial park

Broussard officials looking to buy properties in St. Martin Parish

Landowners whose properties lie in the St. Martin Parish area of the city of Broussard are being asked if they want to sell their land for an industrial park.

Broussard city officials have asked for proposals from landowners in that section of St. Martin Parish, especially the property that lies east of U.S. 90, near Smede Highway and La. 182.

Mayor Charles Langlinais said there is $1.2 million sitting in a fund that the City Council dedicated to an industrial park located in the parts of Broussard that lie inside the western lines of St. Martin Parish. The money would pay for roads and other infrastructure.

“The money’s there,” Langlinais said.

“We do have issues with a railroad crossing on the La. 182 side (of the proposed site), but that is not as difficult to overcome as it used to be,” he said.

Right now, Broussard officials are gauging interest from landowners willing to put their acreage up for sale at a reasonable price.

So far, interested property owners whose total holdings equal 450 to 500 acres have expressed interest.

“It’s all subject to negotiation,” Langlinais said.

The city wants to develop what’s defined as a light industrial park in the now empty area near the U.S. 90 corridor booming with oil and gas service company businesses.

“The history of prior industrial parks proves the demand is there and, frankly, as fast as they can be built, they fill up,” Broussard spokeswoman Amy Jones said.

Broussard marched into St. Martin Parish 12 years ago by annexing land in the unincorporated area. St. Martin Parish fought the move in court, and the two sides later agreed that a half-cent sales tax collected in the affected area — much of it from video poker machine proceeds — would go toward enhancing the value in that part of Broussard.

Langlinais said the fund from the half-cent tax now contains the $1.2 million. He said further enhancements in an industrial park could be made with borrowed money. The revenue stream from the half-cent tax could support a bond sale in the millions of dollars.

And in the near future, the industrial park — where the half-cent sales tax also would be levied — could produce $700,000 to $800,000 a year in proceeds, he said.

Broussard published a legal notice in its official journal on June 8 that outlines the terms. The notice includes wording that specifies landowners would set a reasonable per-acre price, then add an additional $3,000 to each acre to be paid to Broussard for design and construction oversight.

Also involved in the endeavor will be the St. Martin Parish Economic Development Authority. Repeated efforts Thursday to contact the authority’s executive director, Beth Guidry, for comment on their role were unsuccessful.

Landowners also will be required to donate some of the land for one or more roads through the park, including a main park road that would connect La. 182 with U.S. 90.

The deadline for landowners to send in proposals is July 15.