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Calcasieu Parish police jurors agree to facilitate development of $257M airport expansion


LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana — Calcasieu Parish police jurors have approved a memorandum of understanding between the parish, the city of Lake Charles and the Chennault International Airport Authority to facilitate development of a proposed $257 million airport expansion.

The airport has plans to increase its cargo-handling capacity and allow for additional development such as aircraft hangars, rail-served warehouses and a light industrial park. The expansion would be built on 220 acres occupied by Mallard Cove Golf Course, owned by the city of Lake Charles.

The proposal calls for building a new golf course as good as or better than Mallard Cove, with the intent to keep Mallard Cove open until the new course opens.

"Our goal is to create jobs, not get rid of them," said Randy Robb, Chennault's executive director.

Robb said the airport board approved its part of the memorandum of understanding Wednesday. He said the board approved an MOU at its July 15 meeting, but changes were made to it that included putting together a team to monitor the new golf course as it is being built.

"We want to make sure that we don't get down the road and decide we're going down the wrong road and we don't have the golf course that is equal to or better than Mallard Cove," Robb said. "This way, when we get to the end, we will all be on the same frequency."

Robb said the City Council still has to approve the MOU

Parish Administrator Bryan Beam tells the American Press (http://bit.ly/1eOXZNb) the parish will play a role in permitting or helping with infrastructure on the air cargo facility.

Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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