Town solves problem for businesses

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; It’s not every day that businesses have to fight to move into an economically depressed town, but that scenario has played out in Ferriday.

On Tuesday night, the Board of Aldermen worked out a solution to what Mayor Glen McGlothin has called a &uot;pleasant dilemma.&uot;

Late last year, two businesses &045; Jim Robbins’ Distinctive Woodworks and Ronald Goodwin and Ralph Gill’s Waterproof Oil and Seed &045; set their sights on the same location, an old railcar building on Concordia drive. After several weeks of negotiations, the board formulated a plan to get both businesses into town: Distinctive Woodworks will get the Concordia Drive building, and Waterproof Oil and Seed will occupy another town-owned railcar building on La. 15.

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Goodwin said he and Gill would have preferred the Concordia Drive building for its proximity to the grain elevator but was willing to accept the town’s solution.

&uot;It doesn’t matter where they put us,&uot; Goodwin said.

McGlothin said the agreement with Waterproof Oil and Seed &045; a five-year lease at $1,000 a month &045; will be finalized within the week. The Distinctive lease &045; 10 years, also at $1,000 a month &045; still needs some tweaking, as Robbins will have to do extensive repairs on the building.

Town Attorney Anna Brakenridge said the improvements Robbins makes will be taken as in-kind payment.

On another progressive economic note, the board voted to provide $900 a month for the Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District’s operating expenses in the upcoming year.

The district’s board planned to pay the bills, which include new Director Teresa Dennis’ salary, with the proceeds from a 3.9 percent hotel tax that was redirected from the state to individual parishes last year.

That money &045; expected to be as much as $80,000 a year &045; will be available beginning in March. In the meantime, the state Legislature has provided $55,000 in seed money. Ferriday’s supplement is expected to be joined by similar monetary pledges from Vidalia and the Concordia Parish Police Jury.