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Council asked to invest in certified sites for Minden

by Minden Press-Herald

The City Council of Minden have been given a proposal that would help them to secure two certified sites within the city limits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has a Certified Sites program that qualifies industrial sites based on zoning restrictions, title work, environmental studies, soil analysis and surveys. Once the process is complete, the sites are officially certified, which means that they are primed and ready for companies to build there.

On top of the certification itself, those sites are listed in the LED’s database which companies use to find ideal locations for their businesses. And not just any businesses, but big businesses that employ large numbers of people. 

“I think it’s very important for us to have certified sites in Minden so we have the best opportunity for industry to come and look at us,” said Sarah Haynes of the Minden Planning Commission.

Companies benefit from locating to certified sites because it ensures that any potential properties they plan to invest in don’t have unforeseen problems that would cause a delay or re-location entirely. So much so that many won’t even consider moving a business somewhere unless the site has been certified. 

The process to certify some sites in Minden started a little over a year ago. As they were nearing the end of the certification process earlier this year, it became known that 1-2 acres needed to be cleared on these sites in order to showcase the properties to potential investors. 

Up until this point, the City of Minden hadn’t been approached to fund this endeavor — with the funding coming from LED, the South Webster Industrial District, the Minden Economic Development Corporation, and SWEPCO. 

Tuesday morning Sarah Haynes approached the council to propose that they fund the $10,000 needed to clear those acres necessary to get these sites approved. The City of Minden would be receiving many benefits from having these sites certified as well as the boon to the local economy that new companies locating to these sites would provide.  On top of that, this $10,000 would be reimbursed and could be used to certify sites within the City of Minden in the future. 

So far the LED has invested 75% of the cost (approximately $54,000) into the project. The Minden Economic Development Corporation and the South Webster Industrial District have each put forth roughly $5,500, and SWEPCO contributed $7,200.

“Getting certified sites here in Minden will put our name in the hat for companies considering a place to locate their businesses. The companies looking for certified sites employ a large number of people and would only serve to better the City of Minden as well as provide opportunities to its residents,” said Haynes. 

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