LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As North Lake Charles looks for economic growth, could the answer be in creating a new scrap metal processing center?
Many voiced their opinions on the matter at Wednesday night city council meeting.
"It's a hindrance to the community," said resident Lanetta LaVergne. "Not just in the facility being built or expand. Just being there is a hindrance.
LaVergne is talking about the potential scrap metal yard on North First Avenue.
An item on Wedneday night's city council meeting, if approved would allow Louisiana Scrap Metal to expand and create a processing center.
"All they really want to do is move their building and relocate it," said Billy Loftin, attorney for Louisiana Scrap Metal. "They are adding some square footage...and a lot of square footage, but they aren't changing what they are doing."
But many residents who live near the area were against it.
"I'm bringing my children to school, and I'm getting a flat tire because I'm rolling over your scraps that they are dropping to bring to the facility," said LaVergne.
Including former city council members Marshall Simien and Sam Tolbert, who spoke about what the growth for north Lake Charles was supposed to look like based on previous studies.
"What you got is really a classic perversion of a significant redevelopment effort by the city where now you have one business saying they want to do one thing, and you have a whole community sitting right across the street from them saying we don't," said Simien.
"The expansion or the enlargement of a building on that property that's dealing with scrap metal is not in keeping with those reports, and I think that the citizens of that area deserve and opportunity to see their community develop more than a scrap," said Tolbert.
With opposition from the community, and one final plea from Loftin to push it forward.
"A vote against this application is not going to change what the problem is, and their problem is with the scrapyard being there," said Loftin.
City council made their decision with a vote with two for, four against.
And with that, no scrap metal processing center is coming to North First Avenue.
Loftin tells 7News that Louisiana Scrap Metal wants to do all it can to coexist and enhance the neighborhood.