Livingston Parish Council denies additional funding to Juban Crossing

Juban Crossing rendering from 2006
Juban Crossing rendering from 2006
Juban Crossing site
Juban Crossing site

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - The Livingston Parish Council has voted down a proposed ordinance to increase the parish's sales tax contribution to Juban Crossing by a 6-3 decision.

"Let's give him what it takes to make a first class project," said one Livingston Parish resident.

"I'm asking you to accept that LPO 13-28 is no longer legally sound and is in fact dead," urged another resident.

Public input was made Thursday night for and against an ordinance that would increase Livingston Parish's current pledge of 40 percent of a three-quarter cent road tax to 100 percent. It's a tax that would go to the construction of Juban Crossing.

"I would appreciate it if you think about all those people that ride on roads that are inferior and about citizens because you are elected officials to represent the citizens," said Adele Smith.

"This is an opportunity in my mind to say wow! Look what we've done in Livingston Parish," said Julie Dyason-Norris.

The controversial ordinance would have increased the parish's sales tax contribution to the Juban Crossing project from 2.5 cents of the sales tax to 3.25 cents.

The developer of Juban crossing is Stephen Keller, the same man who developed Towne Center in Baton Rouge. He has been working on the project since 2007.

For the first time in several months, Keller also addressed council members, thanking them for their support and answering questions relating to the project.

"All of this money that is being spent does not exist today, it will all be generated through the development of the project and I appreciate all your help, concern and working with you," said Keller.

After hours of discussion and public input a motion to approve the ordinance was introduced and the nine members cast their votes and by a count of six to three the ordinance failed.

Keller told WAFB he expects construction on the project to begin within the next 30 days.

Juban Crossing is a 470-acre development project in Livingston Parish on Interstate 12 and Juban Road.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.