New business heads to Sterlington, amid town’s financial struggle

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STERLINGTON, La. (02/24/2020) — Sterlington was once the fastest growing city in Louisiana, but that growth was stunted when its $21,000,000 debt seemed to beat the town to the finish line.

“We were kind of, not scared, but timid at first not knowing what we were getting into,” said Sales Manager of Ludwig Marine, Dustan Ballance.

Ludwig Marine, is the town’s newest store, at first, there was concern over some of Sterlington’s features.

“Initially one of the main thoughts that we had was the tax rate being so high in the Sterlington area.”

Dustan Ballance, Ludwig Marine

Mayor Ceasar Velasquez quickly eased their minds and the deal was made.

The town has struggled to bring in new company’s, and since Fred’s shut down, the mayor says the town’s sales tax revenue has decreased. For Ludwig though, coming to town, had its perks. Like highway 165, which brought in residents like William Robert.

“The location has been vacant for quite some time, I think they had some food trucks and stuff out here. It looked kind of run down,” said Robert, a West Monroe resident.

He believes Ludwig will do well and Ballance agrees, saying this may propel new opportunities for the town.

“I feel like with our business and others that may possibly move into the area, that there’s a very good chance that they could potentially come out of the position that they’re in.”

Dustan Ballance, Ludwig Marine

Sterlington’s debt has been audited. District Attorney Steve Tew says there are reviewing that report and suspect that there will be a further investigation as to how the town got into this situation.

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