LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The long proposed bill for the Juban Crossing shopping development was shot down once again by Governor Bobby Jindal Friday afternoon.
The Juban Crossing bill, SB 50, is written by Senator Dale Erdey of Livingston. The bill called for state funds to get the project up and rolling. The bill passed through the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee giving supporters a confidence boost heading into the final weeks of the session.
In a letter released by the governor's office Friday afternoon explaining the veto, Jindal writes:
Senate Bill No. 50 by Senator Erdey diverts dollars away from the State General Fund to a local real estate development at the Juban Crossing Economic Development District.
There is an existing process through which a project can receive a State match for local tax increment financing revenues committed to the project. If the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) determines that providing a State match for a project will result in a positive return on investment to the State, LED may submit the project for approval to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. In addition, this project could be funded through the capital outlay bill.
For these reasons, I vetoed similar legislation last year, have vetoed Senate Bill No. 50 and hereby return it to the Senate. I encourage the author and the supporters of the Juban Crossing Project to continue to work with LED and the legislature.
Denham Springs Mayor Jimmy Durbin other Livingston Parish leaders have been fighting for the project for more than five years.
The development, like Towne Center, would require start up funds for the state not to exceed a $45 million bond. Money that Senator Erdey says would have come back to the state from sales taxes once the development is operational.
A statement was released from Stephen Keller of Creekstone Developers in regards to Governor Jindal's veto this afternoon of the Juban Crossing TIF legislation:
"No one ever accused Governor Jindal of being inconsistent. Despite this decision, we are grateful for the infrastructure support Livingston Parish has received from the governor and his administration, including the widening of I-12 through the Juban Road interchange and the widening of Juban Road from the project to Hwy. 190.
"We remain committed to fulfilling our original vision of this one-of-a-kind retail and lifestyle destination. We currently have more than 300,000 square feet of national retail tenants waiting to come on board. We continue to work every day to move forward on the project to bring it to a reality."
Principal, Creekstone Developers
According to Senator Erdey, the development of Juban crossing would have created more than 2,500 construction jobs. Mayor Durbin says it would have brought additional funds to the parish for schools and law enforcement.