OUACHITA PARISH, LA (01/07/20) District B sits in the southern and western sections of Ouachita parish, which are the more rural and quitter parts. However, the recent number of homes going up over the last 10 years is anything but quiet.
“If you look at the building permits being issued, it’s somewhere around 340 to 350 a year” says Jack Clampit of District B, Ouachita Parish.
These numbers make this district the fastest growing in the parish. Other districts average around or under 100 permits a year. Keep in mind, the numbers are reporting single family homes only, as the demand for subdivisions has been decreasing over time. There are multiple reasons, whether geographical or resource-wise that are attracting so many to the area.
“We’re standing on a hill, so we don’t have flooding problems in District B, we have very few minor ones, you don’t have to worry about that. We have our own sewer system out here, you don’t have to worry about the high sewer bills. For the most part we have great water. And if you look at the High School out here, West Ouachita High School, every time I go to an honors event, they have the most honors scholars of anybody” says Clampit.
The road ahead for growth isn’t necessarily a yellow-bricked one. The Ouachita Parish Police Jury says one looming issue they need to keep an eye out on.
“We’ve neglected these road for too long, we’ve spent our money downtown, and these roads are falling apart. As more an more people build out here, and it doesn’t matter if you build a 300,000 dollar home, or whether you got a 60,000 dollar manufactured home, the infrastructure needs are the same” says Clampit.
Clampit mentions one way to smooth these speed bumps is to funnel money from urban projects into rural infrastructure, something that will have to be done sooner rather than later due to the growth.
“If we don’t be proactive, then we’re going to be reactive for a problem that’s going to come in the future” he says.