Housing for 2500 Construction Workers: Parish Reconsiders OK

DeQuincy, a city of about 3,200, doesn't have enough law enforcement to handle up to 2,500 more people, area resident Michael Strother said.

Tue March 24, 2015 - National Edition
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury is taking another month to look at the zoning board’s decision to rezone 85 acres near DeQuincy as housing for up to 2,500 temporary workers on one construction project.

The parish Planning and Zoning Board voted 7-3 Tuesday for the rezoning request despite area residents’ protests, and the police jury agreed Thursday to wait until April 23 before acting on the request for what developers call Magnolia Pines Lodge, The American Press (http://bit.ly/1DLeaeg) reported.

The buildings would house construction workers for an expansion at Sasol Ltd.

DeQuincy, a city of about 3,200, doesn’t have enough law enforcement to handle up to 2,500 more people, area resident Michael Strother said.

Harry Shaheen, says similar facilities in Texas look like prisons without razor wire in an area residents chose for its rural character.

”We know there’s a need, and we have to deal with those issues,’ he said. ”This is not the place at all for this type of operation.’

Patrick Granger, president of PVG Global and Magnolia Pines Lodge, said workers housed at the facility would go through an extensive background check and be tested for drugs every quarter.

Granger said most workers would stay in the temporary housing because it will have everything they need: a 24-hour kitchen and dining area, a fitness center, shuttle service, community sewer, public water and 24-hour security on site.

It would be built on phases depending on the need for workers, Granger said. He said the facility could house both men and women and that it could be operating from as little as three to as many as seven years.

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