CALHOUN, La. (7/5/19)– Calhoun residents recently held a town hall, addressing several issues they have in their community.
The most prominent: what to do with the Calhoun Research Station Property. It was founded in the late 1980’s as the Louisiana Experimental Station but closed down in 2011.
The property, owned by the Ouachita Parish Police Jury, is now up for sale.
“We’re not looking for anything that won’t fit in the community,” said Ouachita Parish Police Juror Jack Clampit (District B).
Clampit says the station should be transformed into a center that will benefit both University of Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Tech University.
“I believe the best ideal use is a technology park. Something that’s clean, environmentally friendly, and yet produces high paying jobs,” said Clampit.
Some residents have a different vision of what the station should be.
“Just my opinion, I think it ought to be a park. We got 390 acres out here and it’s beautiful,” said local resident Joe Brady.
Brady isn’t the only one who thinks a recreational park is needed.
“I think they should build a park. Me and my wife like to go to Kiroli but it’s so far that it’s just out of the way. There’s a lot of families here and it’s a small community so I think it should be family oriented,” said Calhoun resident Ryan Lovasz.
Residents also discussed their concerns with slow response times during emergency situations. Brady says it’s been like that for years.
“It was taking 55 minutes to get a sheriff’s car out here. I don’t believe it’s improved any,” said Brady.
We reached out to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office for comment, but they said they addressed the matter with attendees at the meeting.