Zachary native Alice Brandon is investing nearly $4 million into the project, which would feature a bowling alley, restaurant, arcade, bumper cars, laser tag and a sports bar.
David Beauregard, of Creative Entertainment Concepts in Indianapolis, Ind., is representing several of the project managers for the proposed "Dave and Busters" type entertainment facility and said a separate area for younger children, a dress code and plenty of security would be enforced.
"You've taken an abandoned building and you've done something with it," said Mayor David Amrhein. "I'm all for it. It gives our youth something to do instead of going into Baton Rouge, plus it takes care of an eyesore of a building."
Several councilmen had concerns over the increase of traffic in the area and suggested a traffic study be done.
Beauregard said the traffic study would cost about $12,000 to complete and set the project back about 45 days.
Mayor Amrhein said he would get with the La. Dept of Transportation and suggest a traffic circle to alleviate any issues. "They are very generous in working with us and doing what we usually suggest," Amrhein said.
Once all the funding and project details have been approved, which should take about 60 days, Beauregard said the buildout would take an additional four months.
The entertainment complex would employ about 70 people.
Other city council agenda items included:
HOME RULE CHARTER: A motion to introduce an ordinance calling for a special election to coincide with the Nov. 6 election to amend the Home Rule Charter, Section 5-08, was passed.
The amendment would allow bond issues and the city to borrow, similar to a line of credit, from future utility revenue without voter approval.
Zachary borrowed for the first time recently $9.3 million from the Department of Environmental Quality at a low interest rate of 0.95 percent for recent city sewer upgrades, but the bond had to be put before voters last October, per the Home Rule Charter.
The DEQ has offered to loan Zachary another $5 million for more sewer fixes at the same low rate.
"I never want to borrow more than we can pay back," said Amrhein. "I would think you guys (Councilmembers) would not let that happen either. I think we could do this comfortably by only borrowing $3 million."
UTILITY PAYMENTS: An ordinance was introduced that will eventually allow payment of city utility bills by debit and credit card. A $4.95 processing fee will be added to all payments, a fee incurred by the credit companies. "We will not be making any money from this," said Zachary Chief Financial Officer Steve Nunnery. "We're getting the same $4.95 fee passed on to us."
Nunnery said eventually a kiosk would be placed in front of the utility office to make paying bills easier and an option to pay online is forthcoming.
Visa, American Express, Discover and all debit cards will be accepted.
OFFICIAL JOURNAL: The Zachary Plainsman was named the City of Zachary's official journal of record and will continue to publish all governmental meeting and planning and zoning minutes, in addition to bids and legal/public notices.
Zachary's next City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers, located at 4700 Main St.