Zachary leaders discuss need for new technology park

City Council members, the administration and a Chamber of Commerce official have held an extended discussion about a proposed 70-acre technology park.

The park, if it became a reality, could bring new businesses and jobs to the city, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kate MacArthur told the council during its Tuesday night meeting.

The proposal calls for the city to provide “site-ready” land that companies could build on without worrying about zoning, environmental studies or other issues.

Mayor David Amrhein suggested that the city could spend up to $700,000 building roads and extending sewer service to the proposed technology park site located on Plank Road near Lower Zachary Road.

“We’re not getting anything from that land right now. The city will get (the money) back through property taxes,” he said.

ITT ProCast, an industrial parts supply company headquartered on Flanacher Road in Zachary, has already expressed interest in the site for a planned expansion, the mayor said.

ITT ProCast employs 30 people in Zachary. Thirty more jobs would be created in the proposed expansion, MacArthur said.

State grants of up to $250,000 could be available for infrastructure for the project. The state might also provide more money to train workers, she said.

The mayor said that ITT ProCast has considered moving to Mississippi and will do so unless the city provides site-ready land.

“We don’t want to hire (Mac-Arthur) and then put handcuffs on her to where she can’t market this city,” the mayor said.

Other business coming before the council included:

LIFT STATION: The council voted unanimously to accept the $674,000 low bid of Hawkman Construction LLC to build a lift station that will serve the new Americana development.

City engineer Bianca Carambat told the council that seven bids were received for the work, which was estimated at $750,000.

Before construction can begin, the state Department of Environmental Quality must review and approve the bid, Carambat said.

BUDGET REPORT: The city has $2 million more in its coffers than in 2012, the mayor told the council.

The budget report for the fiscal year ending June 30 shows that the city has $12 million in total funds as opposed to $10 million in June 2012.

STOP SIGNS: The council unanimously agreed to install three-way stop signs at three intersections: East Meadow Court and Albert East, Meadowland Court and Prairie View, and Point South Drive and Sycamore Ridge Court.