LSN STAFF WRITER
CROWLEY – Following an executive session Thursday morning, members of the Tourist Commission ratified a purchase agreement to buy 7.04 acres of land abutting the right-of-way south of the Commission’s tourist center on Tower Lane as a future site of a convention center and offices for economic development.
Originally, the Commission inquired of Sulphur County, L.L.C. located in Saipan, in late October if the firm was interested in selling the parcel of land.
It wasn’t until Dec. 15, however, that the firm, located on the largest island and capital for the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, responded. The Executive Committee conducted negotiations over the holiday season.
The agreement calls for the Commission to close the $570,000 deal on March 30. The Commission has already put up $10,000 in earnest money.
It was announced that Joe Freeland has been employed to act as the real estate agent for the Commission.
Following the meeting the Commission issued a separate announcement to the news media.
It follows in its entirety:
“Acadia Parish Convention and Visitors Commission (Acadia Parish Tourist Commission) has been serving the municipalities and all citizens of Acadia Parish for 20 years; focusing on our cultural and economic assets and its people with their unbounded potential. In doing so, Acadia Parish has become a leader in the state’s second largest industry, tourism.
“Continuing to focus on the future of Acadia Parish and its vital role in the growing industry of tourism, the Acadia Parish Tourist Commission, on January 15, 2009, announced that they have entered into a purchase agreement with owners of a 7.04 acre parcel adjacent to their current information center, to be the future site of the Acadia Parish Convention/Conference Center Complex. This action will enhance and help assure a healthy economic development climate that will nurture and benefit all existing and future plans and projects for tourism and the citizens of Acadia Parish and the surrounding area.
“More details will be made available at a later date.”
Last month, the Commission agreed to spend $32,000 to have a phase one feasibility study conducted. An environmental study must be conducted to review the land use over the past 100 years.
In other action, the Commission set a flag memorial dedication in honor of the Hoffpauer family which donated the land on which the Tourist Center was built. A rest area in front of the Commission office featuring three flagpoles and a plaque, will be dedicated at 12 noon on the first day of Spring, Friday, March 20.
Three proposals to update the Commission’s website were reviewed and referred to the Marketing Committee. The members indicated their interest was centered on the proposal made by the only Acadia Parish firm, GT Technical Solutions of Crowley. Other bids were submitted by Bizzuka of Lafayette, and Lunar Cow, of Akron, Ohio.
Commission members also agreed to purchase a 2009, seven-passenger mini-van through State Purchasing at a cost of $19,914. The Commission agreed to ask a local car dealership if it would meet the sale price.
Director Gwen Hanks announced that Elaine Chatagnier, a long term representative of Iota, has submitted her resignation. Mayor John Sittig will be asked to name a replacement.
The Commission is also seeking two volunteers to serve as at-larger members. Previous appointments were for one year term, but the Bylaw Committee will be asked to consider extend those temporary appointments to two years.