LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Overgrown weeds in empty fields and signs promising a target date that has come and gone is not the scenario for Juban Crossing thousands of residents in Livingston Parish had hoped for by now.
"We really would like something to be built around here so we wouldn't have to travel so far," said Parish resident James Thurston.
Thurston adds it's about time a large retail center with shops and restaurants is built closer to home.
"It's a pain to go into Baton Rouge you spend an hour in traffic or an hour just to get anywhere," said Thurston.
Parish President Layton Ricks knows the next move is up to Governor Bobby Jindal, as he considers the measure that both the Louisiana House and Senate overwhelmingly supported for the second session in a row. Governor Jindal vetoed the bill last year at this time.
"This is what he's built his entire administration on is economic growth and what's good for people, what's good for different parishes and this is the golden opportunity to put stamp of approval on this thing," said Ricks.
The Juban Crossing development would be a massive project much like Towne Center in Baton Rouge and while construction would require millions of dollars in start up funds from the state, Ricks says the end result would pay for itself and then some.
"That's when you use these kinds of things, you don't use it for the everyday businesses you can get you use it for specific causes that you're not able to bring and this accomplishes that goal and is a win win for the parish and the state," added Ricks.
Jindal did not speak on the issue but his office released a statement Wednesday saying only, "We're reviewing this legislation."
This comes as little comfort for Thurston who believes the development will ultimately arrive at Juban Road one way or another.
"I feel it will happen," said Thurston. "It's just a matter of the governor getting on board with it or not. It's going to happen."
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