Gonzales city council split on new business deal

Proposed site for Crawford Electric in Gonzales
Proposed site for Crawford Electric in Gonzales

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - There is some turmoil surrounding a big business deal in Gonzales.

An electric company wants to build there, but the area they are interested in would have to be rezoned, and some council members are against it; some residents are questioning their motives.

There is prime property up for grabs in the City of Gonzales. There is lots of land ready and waiting for development. Crawford Electric, an industry wholesaler, has set its sights on a plot just south of the Highway 30 and Highway 44 intersection.

"It's a wonderful company. I'm just blown away by it," Mayor Barney Arceneaux said.

Arceneaux said it would bring in $11,000 in property taxes and 30 to 40 new jobs each paying in between $90,000 to $100,000.

"I've lived here all my life and the more jobs the better. There are so many people that need good jobs," Sarah Dupont said.

Abraham Jacobs is one of them. He and others who live here said they are interested in hearing what Crawford has to offer.

"Definitely a no-brainer. Go with it," Abraham Jacobs said.

But it is easier said than done. The city council must first vote to rezone the area from commercial to light industrial, and not everyone is on board. Councilman Terance Irvin cannot vote because his family owns adjoining property. The rest of the council appears to be split, and the mayor said legally he can't break the tie.

"So what happens essentially if it ends at two-two it's dead and we lose a wonderful company," Arceneaux said.

Some council members have said they would rather see a retail outlet at the sight but the mayor said no one in the retail sector has approached him.

"You've got an old manufacturing company there for many years, the Gonzales sewer plant right next door, and another small trucking company in that area. So why on earth would a retail want to locate right there," Arceneaux questioned.

"It's politics as usual. One can't agree because one can't manipulate or control the other," Wayne Lawson said.

Residents want the councilmen to put their differences aside and focus on what they believe is important.

"They need to think of the people. They need to think of the people in this town," Dupont said.

The Gonzales City Council meeting is set for 5:30p.m.

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