MONROE, Louisiana — Monroe Regional Airport officials plan to have 500 acres within the airfield certified for economic development to entice businesses to locate there.
This year, airport officials plan to tackle a major fence realignment project.
The News-Star reports (http://tnsne.ws/YYos7x ) the city council on Tuesday authorized the airport to advertise for bids for the security fence realignment. Expected cost is $760,000.
Approximately 500 acres will be carved from the airfield during the realignment project. Airport Manager Ron Phillips hopes this property can be used to bring more economic development there.
"We're working with one local economic development group to get that property certified for economic development so hopefully we can market it and attract businesses to develop that land and build there," Phillips said.
Half of the 500 acres is located in the northern portion of the airfield while the other parcel is located in the southern area.
Before any construction can take place, engineers would need to conduct an airspace study to make sure aviation would not be impacted, Phillips said.
"Our long-term goal is to attract a lot of businesses out here at the airport, so we're going to create much more area for development around the airport," Phillips said. "We want this airport and air industrial park to be a place where people want to come and do business."
In the meantime, Phillips said city Public Works crews will continue to conduct beautification efforts in the vicinity, including landscaping and tearing down old structures.
So far the city has spent about $65,000 to tear down eight old buildings and improve the property they were located on, said Public Works Director Tom Janway.
Information from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com