From the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce
Walker---Parish President Layton Ricks delivered his annual State of the Parish address to the Livingston Parish Chamber. Chad Bacas, Forte & Tablada’s newest owner, gave an update on the firms transition and introduced President Ricks. The event was held at Wholly Ground and was a sellout with social distancing guidelines of a maximum of 50 people.
President Rick began by addressing his views on mask for Livingston Parish. He noted he had received numerous calls on it and does feel it is up to individuals whether they want to participate in areas that have masks protocol in place. He stated he does not agree with enforcing fines on businesses in accordance with the mandates.
Mr. Ricks continued by stating that sales tax collections have been up with the thought that people are comfortable getting out. He addressed capital outlay projects are ongoing with 90 miles of roads and 390 drain improvements in the past year. $30 million was received because of the flood that the parish was able to secure through federal and state funding. Another $30 million should also be accessed and is planned.
On the commercial end, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito is still on track along with LIT Pizza and a fitness center in the same location on Juban Road. The planning department has been busy with 23 new commercial app applications new developments since August 2019.
A new campground is slated for the Spring Ranch Road location with 330 campsites and 66 cabins slotted for that area. On the development of subdivisions there are 10 under 100 lots and 4 over 100 lots. Townhomes and other units are also in the works. Three new telecommunications towers have also been installed.
President Ricks also reported that in 2019, of 366 complaints filed in by the end of the year, 140 of them have been closed. 143 of them are currently being worked. There are 155 employees for the parish administration.
The main topic Mr. Ricks wanted to address was the upcoming one cent, 15 year, sales tax renewal on the November 3 ballot. 75% of those funds go to roads and drainage improvement, and 25% of it goes to the detention center which is under the authority of the parish administration.
The revenue generated is 14.5 million for the road program and 4.5 million for the detention center. President Ricks is quoted as saying. “ without this we are sunk in the water”, and the dependency on this to keep operations is essential.
The funds also allow the parish the option to draw down funds as a match from both the state and the federal level where over $16 million spent was secured that way.