Concordia officials predict busy 2001

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – While they are drawing the line at pie-in-the-sky predictions for the new year, Concordia Parish’s public officials do see many public projects taking shape in the year 2001.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland believes the town will be ready to announce, during the first six months of the year, what businesses have decided to locate at the Vidalia Landing riverfront site. He is also confident the town will find and apply for $3.5 million in funding necessary to build a port on the Vidalia side of the Mississippi River.

&uot;That is one of our main objectives,&uot;&160;Copeland said, adding the town also will continue to court industrial prospects.

Email newsletter signup

Mayor Pro-Tem Ricky Knapp sees a group of doctors breaking ground early this year for an outpatient surgical center to be located at the riverfront. &uot;We should also be able to finish the street overlay project as soon as we finish installing culverts throughout the city,&uot; Knapp said. &uot;And I’d like to see our large industrial park fully occupied this year.&uot;

Given Ferriday’s past problems with water quality, it is no surprise Mayor Glen McGlothin’s first priority for 2001 is making improvements to the town’s water plant.

He also expects the town soon will finish installing software to better track such things as water usage, bill payments and town payroll. The town already has installed new computer hardware for the same purpose.

McGlothin sees the town making strides in economic development, including getting camouflage clothing manufacturer Mardy’s Contracting into a revamped Serio Building.

Charlie Blaney, president of the Concordia Parish Police Jury, said the jury will have more money this year, thanks to increased severance tax revenues as well as tax money paid from bankrupt Fruit of the Loom.

&uot;We should be able to do things we couldn’t do last year, such as buying needed (public works) equipment and doing more road work,&uot; Blaney said.

He also sees the parish applying this year for funding to improve the Concordia Parish Airport. &uot;Due to the surplus they have in Washington, I&160;see a brighter chance of us getting that funding this year than last year,&uot;&160;he said.