Tangipahoa panel calls for district elimination

AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council voted unanimously Monday to take whatever steps are necessary to dissolve the Tangipahoa Parish Economic Development District, which has not been fully functional or met in the past several years.

The council passed a resolution requesting that the parish’s legislative delegation petition the Legislature to dissolve the board after learning in a letter from attorney Cliff Speed that because the board was created by the Legislature only that body could cause its elimination.

Parish Councilman Carlo Bruno, in calling for abolition of the board, said two boards were assigned to perform the same tasks. The other entity charged with economic development, the Tangipahoa Industrial Development Board, is functioning and promoting businesses in the parish.

Stacey Neal, executive director of economic development for the Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation, the marketing arm of the parish’s business development initiative, said she has repeatedly tried to call a meeting of the TPEDD board but has been unable to muster a quorum. She said she didn’t know how long it had been since members of the TPEDD board had even met.

Other items discussed during the meeting included:

PARISH JOINS MPO: The council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Parish President Burgess, on behalf of Tangipahoa Parish, to enter into an agreement with the cities of Hammond and Ponchatoula to form the South Tangipahoa Metropolitan Planning Organization and to join the Regional Planning Commission in managing the South Tangipahoa MPO.

BIDS SOUGHT FOR CENTER ADDITIONS: The council unanimously approved a resolution calling for bids for a new building for the Agricultural Events Center located near Amite. The additions, which will be built with grant money, will expand the center’s ability to host numerous events that are not now possible with the current structure.

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