Farm workers’ housing not for Lincoln Road

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Apartments for migrant farm workers will not be cropping up on Lincoln Road despite rumors to the contrary, a local economic development official told members of the Ferriday Rotary Club Thursday.

Buddy Spillers, president of the Macon Ridge Economic Development Region, said developers contacted him three years ago about the possibility of building housing for farm laborers.

But Spillers soon received calls from local residents opposed to such a development, so he nixed the idea. &uot;The people didn’t want it, so that was the end of it,&uot;&160;Spillers said.

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Instead, the 40-unit apartment complex Macon Ridge will build on Lincoln Road only be open to residents age 62 and over. Baton Rouge developer Craig Smith has also said the low-income complex his planning, called Villa Apartments, &uot;will be for families, not migrant workers.&uot;

Earlier this week residents of the area near Lincoln Road said that one of their concerns about the development of the apartment complexes, which are being developed separately, was a long-standing rumor that the apartments would be used as housing for migrant workers.

Now that necessary permits have been received from the Concordia Parish Police Jury and the Ferriday Town Council, construction of the Macon Ridge apartments should begin in January, according to Spillers.

If Smith receives a Police Jury permit for the Villa Apartment complex, construction of that project should 60 to 90 from that date and should take six months to complete.

In the past, residents have been concerned that the apartments would overtax the town’s sewer and water system, which would serve the complexes even though they would be located just outside Ferriday’s town limits.

But Bryant Hammett, engineer for the Town of Ferriday and Concordia Parish, has said the town’s water system, as well as its roads, can handle the developments.

Smith and Macon Ridge have promised to give the town $20,000 and $25,000, respectively, to upgrade a sewer lift station serving the area. And Spillers has said Macon Ridge will help the town find government funding for the remaining $31,000 cost.