Community Development Foundation
P.O. Box 3044,
US Hwy. 61 at Riverbend Power Station Road
St. Francisville, La. 70775
225-635-6767 / 225-635-6885 (fax)
OUR MISSION IS:
To create attractive job opportunities and to diversify
the Parish's tax base:
Reflections and Recommendations on the Economic Development of West Feliciana Parish
- By Retaining, Expanding, and Recruiting Companies
- By Encouraging Visitors
- By Attracting Residents Who Share Our Values
- Two major facilities contribute more than 95 percent of the Parish's current budget. Depreciating their combined assessed values at 5 percent a year will cause a decline of approximately $1 million in the Parish's tax revenues from 1999 to the year 2010. Replacing this amount plus adding another $500,000 should be a ten-year goal of the economic development program.
- For years, most of the Parish's best and brightest have had to leave for employment opportunities. Another goal of the economic development program should be to create job opportunities so citizens have a choice - to stay or leave.
- For all practical purposes, the Parish's economic development program is beginning at ground zero. Start-up programs take time to materialize and bear fruit. Expectations should be high but realistic.
- The major components of economic development are: (1) developing the community so it is "market ready" and (2) marketing. Getting the West Feliciana Parish market ready requires a number of initiatives. The two most critical are a place for business to locate and workforce training.
- The availability of developed sites for business cannot be over stressed. Communities are eliminated or considered early in the initial screening process depending on the availability of developed sites. The Parish will not ready to accommodate business development until this detriment is corrected.
- The quality of the workforce plays an increasingly important role in the business location decision process. The citizens' commitment to quality education is commendable. There needs to be an equally strong commitment to provide skills training.
- Business and commercial development must be actively courted. The Parish does not have the name recognition or the reputation as business location to be considered competitive in the arena where there are a multitude of location alternatives. To develop the recognition and a business reputation takes a concerted and sustained marketing effort.
- Not all business and commercial development is equal. Values differ greatly depending on the quality and type. The higher the quality, the better the return to the Parish and to the citizens. If it starts out low quality, it is difficult if not impossible to recover.
- The role of the private sector in economic development can be succinctly defined as creating jobs and taxable investment. The public sector's primary role is to up-front the basic infrastructure and adopt "customer friendly" regulatory processes. One sector cannot do it alone. They must work together to maximize their effectiveness.
- St. Francisville and West Feliciana can become economic development competitive. By taking action, the Parish can enhance development, timing and quality. No action will result in fragmentation and low quality.
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Information supplied by Bill Little, CEO of WFCDF 4/13/00
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