LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - While parts of America continue to struggle economically, Livingston Parish is reporting serious growth. Parish leaders say Livingston had a big 2012 and this year should be more of the same.
The Livingston Parish Economic Development Council reports nearly 500 new jobs for the parish in 2012. Out-going chairman Steve Stein says, for example, several existing companies expanded like Our Lady of the Lake Hospital while others just moved into Livingston. In addition, he hopes to see spill over and connection with parishes like ascension which benefits from being on the Mississippi River
"Livingston Parish doesn't have the deep water port, but what we do have is rail and interstate and available land. And so the companies that will support those bigger companies up and down the river can locate here," said Stein.
High on everyone's watch list is the Juban Crossing project. Last week the state bond commission approved the sale of public bonds that will be used for roads and other infrastructure at Juban Crossing.
"Now with Juban Crossing so near as making some announcements, wanting to get started, hoping to have first phase completed 2014 which is an ambitious goal but they're intent on doing that," said Parish President Layton Ricks.
Ricks cautions however, that with fast growth, there could be some growing pains for Livingston.
"You're going to see the council and the administration work very hard and help LEDC and the chamber in making sure that we grow responsibly...to make sure we grow by still maintaining the lifestyle in Livingston Parish that our residents, our long-term residents, are so accustomed to," said Ricks.
Ricks says the rapid growth and new business won't come at the expense of the small businesses already in place.