Livingston Parish Council to vote on funding for Juban Crossing

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Some Livingston Parish residents are not happy the developer of Juban Crossing is asking for more money.

The developer of the future shopping center is asking for 100 percent of a road sales tax, to help fund roads for the project. The decision of whether to give the money is up to the parish council and residents say before that vote, they want their voices heard.

"All the earthwork that was performed has grass growing on it," said Earl Price, a resident from Livingston Parish.

For anyone who passes by the land where Juban Crossing will be, it doesn't look like anything is happening. "People I think are giving up hope, don't believe it will happen," said Price.

More than a year ago, a statement from the developer said, "Our project is moving forward and will begin offering Livingston Parish residents the finest shopping, dining and working destination in 2013."

As for what's happening now with the project, residents are keeping themselves informed.

Earl Price uses his Facebook page to get his message out.

He wants others to chime in, now that a parish councilman has proposed an ordinance to dedicate 100 percent of a three-fourths-cent road sales tax to the developer.

Price points out it's the fourth time the developer has asked the parish for more money for the project.

The developer of Juban crossing is Stephen Keller, the same man who developed Towne Center in Baton Rouge. We left a message on his voicemail Thursday asking for an on-camera interview. We received an email back a short time later, from his PR person, denying our request.

A later statement that reads, "We are hopeful that parish council members will approve this measure, so that we can move forward on this one-of-a-kind project that will benefit not only Livingston Parish residents but the region as a whole. We appreciate the continued support we have received from the elected officials and residents here and are committed, with their help, to make this development a reality in the very near future."

"Instead of giving up 40 percent of our road tax, only on sales collected in the district, he wants to now give up 100 percent of what we collect for roads," Price said of the ordinance the councilman has proposed. He says he recalls a few years back, when thousands of residents signed a petition blocking the council from allowing parish money to be used on private roads. Now he says the new council is preparing to do the same thing.

Price says a lot of the old council members were voted out for using public money on private roads.

He also wants to know if other developers are finding money for new projects, what's stopping Juban Crossing from making progress.

"The Hammond Mall out there has been restructured. Covington got stalled at Pinnacle - its come back. Now you got Fremaux that's kicked off in Slidell. If all those are able to be built with the bad economy, why can't he get this one going?"

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