DENHAM SPRINGS, La (FOX44) — A bill heading to the Senate floor will help Juban Crossing fund some of it's infrastructure. Senate Bill 674 would create a fund within the state treasury specifically for the Juban Crossing Economic Development District. That money will come from the district's sales tax to go back into funding the project.
Within the year, Livingston Parish residents expect to see shops, restaurants, and entertainment spring up on a 500-acre plot of land off of Juban Road. They're calling it Juban Crossing.
"I'm glad they're finally getting something done over there because it gives us folks a little further out in Livingston a closer place to shop and stuff," says Ernest Rhodus.
Once the businesses are open, part of the sales tax shoppers are charged will go back into the project. Senator Dale Erdey says the fund would help pay to build extra infrastructure in the area.
"We're not talking about bricks and mortar," says Erdey. "We're talking about roads, sewer, gas, utilities, that kind of stuff."
He says that would help create 1,500 construction jobs and between 25 to 300 permanent jobs.
"The more jobs you create, the better," says Livingston resident, Gayle Guidry.
But not everyone is happy about the fund or the project. "I'm not for it," says Cookie Wood. "I'm totally against it and I'm against all that shopping stuff being right down the road."
She says more shops and infrastructure means more traffic. "The traffic already over there is pathetic. You can't get in or out," she says.
Still, more jobs and the promise of a shopping center closer to home, have lots of residents staying positive.
"I'm looking forward to it," says Rhodus. "You don't have to go all the way to Baton Rouge now."
Senate Bill 673 passed through the Senate Finance Committee today. It goes to the full Senate for debate next. No word on when that will be.