Airport board approves lease for worker village in Carlyss - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Airport board approves lease for worker village in Carlyss

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SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

The West Calcasieu Airport Managing Board on Tuesday approved a lease with the company that wants to build a worker village at Southland Executive Airport in Carlyss.

First Flight Holdings LLC plans to build Moss Lake Village, a temporary housing facility on 100 acres of airport property.

The village will house up to 2,500 workers.

Board members Joe Palermo Jr. and R.K. Levens voted to approve the lease while Scott Foreman and Tim Dougherty voted against it during a special meeting held early Tuesday morning. New chairman Dalton Langford then broke the tie with his vote.

The lease can be viewed HERE and at http://bit.ly/1iplUDE/

The development will still need a zoning exception to move forward. The request is expected to go before the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Zoning Board in June.

You can see the First Flight Holdings' rezoning request, along with proposed layout for the facility HERE and at http://bit.ly/1ipha0F

First Flight Holdings has agreed to do the following:

• Locate the facility's main entrance and exit on La. 27 to reduce traffic on Johnny Jones Road.

• Require criminal background checks on all village residents.

• Only contract to provide housing for projects south of the airport to minimize traffic on La. 27.

• Use local suppliers, contractors and labor "to the extent commercially reasonable."

• Erect privacy fences between airport neighbors where there is no preexisting natural barrier.

• Adopt an alcohol policy for the protection of the general public.

 

This morning's approval is a major step towards building the controversial worker camp in Carlyss.

It was a special meeting of the West Calcasieu Airport Managing Board-- set for 8:30 a.m. And in less than ten minutes it was over, by which time the board had approved the lease between itself and First Flight holdings.

 No public comment was allowed, but newly elected board Chairman Dalton Langford says citizens have had their say.

"We've had three meetings, two and a half hours to three and a half hours with the citizens of Carlyss," said Langford.

Langford says changes have been made to protect people who live close to the airport.

"A major change to the contract was closing down the north gate to First Flight people and building a new road for them to come and go on Highway 27 on the south end of the airport.  That will alleviate any traffic or  95% of the traffic on Johnny Jones Road and 108," he said.

Previously board officials have said the workers would be bussed from Moss Village to their job site to the south. 

"We feel that 2500 cars going up and down highway 27 twice a day would be a detriment not only to Carlyss but to all of southwest Louisiana," said Langford.

Langford says having workers in a village is better for the community.

"If we don't put them in a place under security these people will be scattered helter skelter throughout Sulphur and Carlyss. Any house rented will have ten or twelve construction workers living in it.  Traffic will be atrocious.  It's going to be bad anyway," said Langford. 

A zoning exception has been requested to allow residential housing in an industrial area.  That request goes before the parish zoning board in June.

The Calcasieu Planning and Zoning Board will consider First Flight's request for a zoning exception at 5:30, Tuesday, June 17th.

The board has the final say.  Zoning "exceptions" do not go to the police jury.

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