Three companies outline possible truck stop/casino development in St. Gabriel

Tryve Brackin

Three companies spoke to a number of concerned and interested St. Gabriel residents about the possible development of a truck stop and casino facility in the Iberville Parish city last (Tuesday) night.

The meeting was held by St. Gabriel Mayor George Grace at City Hall and approximately 200 citizens attended.

Three different companies are proposing the building of a truck stop and casino just off La. 30 between the East Baton Rouge Parish line and Bayou Paul Lane.

Highway 30 Holdings is suggesting a 15-acre development with trees buffering the facility from the road with three different entrance/exit ways, all connected to La. 30 only. A grill, grocery store, casino, and additional businesses would be included in the facility.

Tall Timbers suggested a facility covering a little over five acres of land away from residential areas with a diner, fast food restaurant, gas station, and casino with the look of a shopping center, rather than a truck stop that would attract a number of 18-wheelers.

Reliable Amusement suggested a nearly 11,000 square foot facility on nearly eight acres of land with a neighborhood market, restaurant and casino approximately a half a mile from the EBR Parish line.

Potential owners pointed to addition of jobs and annual tax revenue for the city as incentives to back the development. The expected construction time period would be a start within the next two or three months with completion right before or after the first of 2011.

Residents listened to the various proposals and had an opportunity to voice concerns. Most common concerns vocalized were crime and vice coming to the area, traffic increase, and pollution.

Mayor Grace said the City Council has not decided to allow a gambling facility to open within the city limits at this point in time. Law mandates a public meeting and discussion of potential business movement into the area, including a casino. Grace noted city officials are listening to all possible opportunities and considerations, but no decisions have been made.