Friday, May 24 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:20:27 GMT
For a family in Lake Charles, one phone call changed everything. The aftermath of the Moore, Okla. tornado revealed the loss of a loved one. One of the children who died at a school destroyed by the tornadoMore >>
A family in Lake Charles mourns the loss of a young relative in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.
Friday, May 24 2013 8:43 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:43:00 GMT
The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for a bank robbery suspect. The Vernon Bank branch on Colony Boulevard in New Llano was robbed Thursday afternoon. Investigators say a black male subjectMore >>
The Vernon Bank branch on Colony Boulevard in New Llano was robbed Thursday afternoon.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:33 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:33:22 GMT
A kindergartner at T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School in Lake Charles read 875 books in one school year. Sophia Moss is 5-years-old and she loves to read. "A lot of the days I read books. It's justMore >>
Sophia loves to read. She even wrote her own book and did her book report on it! And even though she's just beginning her academic career, it's only the beginning of her story.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:24 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:24:38 GMT
Southwest Louisiana is doing its part in the Oklahoma tornado recovery effort. In Westlake, people from all over Southwest Louisiana donated items for the tornado victims. It all started with one manMore >>
Southwest Louisiana is doing its part in the Oklahoma tornado recovery effort.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 5:51 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:51:00 GMT
The following are closures and changes in garbage collection schedules in Southwest Louisiana related to the Memorial Day holiday: Lake Charles: The City of Lake Charles will observe the Memorial DayMore >>
The following are closures and changes in garbage collection schedules in Southwest Louisiana related to the Memorial Day holiday:More >>
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Lake Charles voters will soon decide another component on how to finance and attract future infrastructure along the Lakefront. It's not a new tax or increase in taxes, but rather a tax incremental financing district - also known as a TIF.
"We have certain infrastructure projects we need to start thinking about in terms of Lakefront development and one way to finance those is through a TIF," said Marshall Simien, Lake Charles City Councilman.
In 2007, Lake Charles voters not only approved the $90 million bond issue but a tax incremental financing district for the 65 acres of lakefront ready to be developed. Five years later, the City Council is asking voters to activate the TIF to allow 2.25% of the tax revenue generated along the lakefront to help with infrastructure and attract new projects.
Currently, the Civic Center is the only thing generating sales tax along the lakefront and according to Simien, generally loses the city about $1 million per year. However, Simien said with a 150-room Hyatt Hotel in the works, now is the time to put the TIF up for vote.
"We think that part of the development of the lakefront is to have a hotel at the Civic Center to make it more viable as a conference center and also to support the activities of the Civic Center. And the time to activate the TIF is now before there is any type of tax generation coming out of it," explained Simien.
If approved by voters, it would be the first TIF district in Lake Charles. With the expected economic boom headed to Southwest Louisiana, council members believe it will serve as a catalyst.
"It would spread like wildfire is what my prediction would be," said Rodney Geyen, Lake Charles City Council.
"We are going to have astronomical growth. So, basically with that said I want the people to have the opportunity to vote on it," said Stuart Weatherford, Lake Charles City Council.
Again, it's not a new tax or tax increase but would free up money to help finance infrastructure needs such as parking upgrades.
"These kinds of TIFs are attractive to developers because they come in with the assurances that they are going to get infrastructure, the areas are going to be maintained and it doesn't fall on them later on," said Simien.
The old Harrah's property would not be included in the TIF district because it was private property during the 2007 vote.
Voters will decide on April 6. Another reason why they decided to place it on the April ballot is because it's the same election when voters will decide the mayor and council races.