SLAUGHTER, LA (WAFB) - The small town of Slaughter has set its sights on big business.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is set to approve a $1.7 million deal that would bring heavy industry, like fertilizer and ethanol plants.
The heavily traveled U.S. Highway 61 through East and West Feliciana is primed for progress. The natural barriers just off the roadway are slowly disappearing. Evidence of economic development is starting to appear.
The Mayor of Slaughter, Robert Jackson, said his town is on the brink of something big.
"What we're looking at is recruiting industry to this area and the town. We are hoping to secure gas sales in this industry," Jackson explained.
Through an agreement with MidLa, an intrastate shipper, Slaughter was able to secure two taps in a 19-mile pipeline that runs along the railroad from Slaughter to five miles past the KPAQ paper mill. The railway is being repaired.
Jackson said there are 2,000 acres of land available for expansion.
"We're hoping to secure jobs and taxes for our school system for our police jury. It'll be a positive impact not only for East Feliciana but surrounding parishes too," Jackson said.
Workforce leaders said the face of Hwy 61 will change in the next five years. They predict the wooded area along the highway will be converted into a workforce development area which will drive business north of Baton Rouge.
East Feliciana Director of Workforce Development, Johnny Arceneaux, said he is working with local technical colleges and even high school administrators to start incorporating classes into their curriculum that would prepare students for the up and coming workforce.
"In East Baton Rouge, land is scarce, people want to expand. It's also a time when for investors want to come in and invest in Louisiana," Johnny Arceneaux said.
"It's jobs, workforce development, student retention. All of this plays hand in hand," Jackson said.
It's all about timing and having the proper foundation set to flourish. Jackson said Slaughter is on track.
The mayor said FERC is expected to sign off on the pipeline deal in two weeks.