Posted: Sep 15, 2022, 4:27 PM
State Senator Robert Mills discussed good news for Plain Dealing including possible state dollars to help improve community infrastructure, during a Thursday visit with town officials.
"We're happy to see the good things that are happening for your town," Mills told Mayor Shavonda Gay, Town Clerk Rolandria McCauley and Town Attorney Douglas Dominick. "I want to work with you to help in any way I can."
Mills, traveling with Bossier Parish Administrator Butch Ford, pointed to the Teal Jones lumber mill as a much-needed shot in the arm that should help not only Plain Dealing but the surrounding area.
Louisiana Economic Development Economic officials say the new $110.5 million mill is expected to support 125 new direct jobs, with average annual salaries of $47,000, plus benefits. Estimates are the project will also support at least 369 indirect jobs, for a total of 494 prospective new jobs in the state's northwest region.
Ford told town officials more good news came earlier this week when Comcast announced it would be bringing broadband services to Plain Dealing thanks to a $300,000 GUMBO grant. GUMBO is designed to help broadband provider applicants with deployment of services to unserved areas of the state.
"Comcast was awarded the grant and they will also be investing about two million dollars of their own money. That brings the total project to $2.3 million. They plan to begin next month with planning and mapping, then they'll start bringing fiber optic lines north along highway 3," Ford said.
Ford also pointed to money from the state's Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Off System Bridge Program that could help replace structures in the town that have been closed.
Mills said the town will be receiving state money from the discretionary fund to aid in projects such as water and sewer lines to the Teal Jones facility, and more dollars will be coming from another state funding source that will help improve streets and revitalize areas of need.
"There are very good things happening for Plain Dealing, and we hope we can continue to assist," Mills said.