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      RS 33:2740.23     


§2740.23.  West Bank Corridor Improvement Commission; creation, composition, and powers

A.  The West Bank Corridor Improvement Commission, hereinafter referred to as the "commission", is hereby created, and the jurisdiction of the commission shall be coterminous with the parish of Jefferson.

B.  The commission is established for the primary object and purpose of promoting and encouraging industrial and commercial redevelopment in the vicinity of the west bank of the Mississippi River in the parish of Jefferson, hereinafter referred to as the "area"; and to stimulate the economy of the parish through renewed commerce, and industry in, and for the utilization and development of human resources of, the area by providing information and assistance to help alleviate physical and economic deterioration therein.

C.  In order for the orderly development and effectuation of the services to be furnished by the commission and to provide for the representation in the affairs of the commission of those persons and interests immediately concerned with and affected by the purposes and development of the area, the commission shall be composed of all members of the legislature who represent any portion of the parish of Jefferson on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

D.(1)  The member of the Senate serving the Eighth Senatorial District shall serve as chairman of the commission.  As soon as practical, the commission shall meet and elect from their number a vice chairman, a secretary, a treasurer, and such other officers as it may deem appropriate.

(2)  The minute books and archives of the commission shall be maintained by the commission's secretary.  The monies, funds, and accounts of the commission shall be in the official custody and control of the commission's treasurer.

(3)  The duties of the officers shall be fixed by bylaws adopted by the commission.  The commission shall adopt such rules and regulations as it deems necessary or advisable for conducting its business and affairs and, to the extent that funds are available, shall hire such assistants and employees as are needed to assist the commission in the performance of its duties.  It shall hold regular meetings as shall be provided in the bylaws and may hold special meetings at such time and places within or outside the parish as may be prescribed in the bylaws.

(4)  A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  The commission shall keep minutes of all meetings and shall make them available to the public in conformance with law.

(5)  The members of the commission shall serve without compensation; however, if funds are available they may receive a travel allowance as reimbursement for expenses incurred while attending to the business of the commission.

E.(1)  The commission shall be assisted by an advisory board made up of representatives of the following:

(a)  Avondale Ship Yard.

(b)  City of Westwego.

(c)  City of Gretna.

(d)  Harvey Canal Industrial Association.

(e)  West Bank Chamber of Commerce.

(f)  Westwego Rotary Club.

(g)  Westbank Rotary Club.

(h)  West Jefferson Levee District.

(i)  The president and chief executive officer of the Board of Commissioners, Port of New Orleans, or his designee.

(j)  The chairman of the Jefferson Parish Council.

(k)  Gretna Business Association.

(l)  Sixth Ward Association for Progress.

(m)  Jefferson Black Chamber of Commerce.

(n)  Mayor of the town of Jean Lafitte.

(o)  Mayor of the town of Grand Isle.

(2)  The members of the advisory board shall serve without compensation; however, if funds are available they may receive a travel allowance as reimbursement for expenses incurred while attending to the business of the board or the commission.

F.  The commission shall have the power to cooperate with and to engage in cooperative endeavors with other persons and entities as provided by Article VI, Sections 20 and 21 of the Constitution of Louisiana to provide a means by which owners of such properties who expand, restore, improve, or develop them may pay ad valorem taxes for five years based upon the assessed valuation of the property for the year prior to the commencement of the expansion, restoration, improvement, or development.

G.  In order to provide growth and development of the area and the prosperity and welfare of the people of the parish to expand, restore, improve, and develop existing commercial structures within the area and to encourage the fullest use of underutilized resources, and the enhancement of the tax base and in order to improve communication and coordination among the economic and human development efforts of state, federal, and local governments and to encourage maximum local participation in the development and coordination of federal, state, regional, and local programs in Louisiana and in order to better coordinate state plans and programs with one another, as well as with programs in the federal, regional, local, and private sectors, the commission shall:

(1)  Make recommendations concerning: natural and environmental factors, trends of industrial, population, or other developments; the habits and lifestyles of the people of the parish; land use within the area; places for the concentration of wholesale, retail, business, and other commercial uses; places for recreational uses; and for spaces and places of mixed uses.

(2)  Make recommendations concerning the need for and the proposed general location of public and private works and facilities, including but not limited to pollution control facilities.

(3)  Make or assist in studies and investigations of the resources of the parish and the existing and emerging problems of industry, commerce, transportation, population, housing, public service affecting the redevelopment of the area, and in making such studies to seek the cooperation and collaboration of the appropriate state departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of federal, state, and local government, educational institutions, research organizations, whether public or private, and of civic groups and private persons and organizations.

(4)  Prepare and from time to time revise inventory listings of the parish's resources and of the major public and private works and facilities of all kinds which are deemed necessary to the redevelopment of the area.

(5)  Cooperate and confer with, and upon request supply information to federal agencies, and to local and regional agencies created pursuant to a federal program or which receive federal support, and shall cooperate and confer, as far as possible, with economic development districts in and outside of the state.

(6)  Advise and supply information, as far as available, to civic groups and private persons and organizations who may request such information or advice, and who study or otherwise concern themselves with the commission's problems and development of the fields of business and industry, labor, natural resources, urban growth, housing and public service activities such as public health and education, insofar as such problems and development may be relevant to the area's redevelopment.

(7)  Provide information to officials of departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of state and local government and to the public at large, in order to foster public awareness and understanding of the objectives of the commission in order to stimulate public interest and participation in the orderly, integrated development of the area.

(8)  Accept and receive, in furtherance of its functions, funds, grants, and services from the federal government or its agencies, from departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of state, parish, municipal, or local government, or from private or civic sources.

(9)  Solicit the assistance and active cooperation of industry and private civic organizations which are active in anti-litter and recycling efforts to assist in the control and reduction of litter in the area.  The commission may also encourage industry and private civic organizations to participate in the "adopt-a-road" program as provided in R.S. 25:1114 for the purpose of controlling litter along the highways in the area.

(10)  Hold public hearings and sponsor public forums whenever it deems necessary or useful in the execution of its functions.

(11)  Exercise all other powers necessary and proper for the discharge of its duties.

Acts 1990, No. 610, §1; Acts 1991, No. 373, §1.

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