Microbrewery is bright spot in City’s outlook

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Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey, far left, gave an update on city projects Thursday evening to members of the Agitators. Posey touched on such topics as Chaplin’s Lake, the Riverbank Project, Sports Park and the microbrewery. The mayor was the guest of Ricky Williams, center and Louie Bernard.

By Natchitoches Times Staff

news@natchitochestimes.com

Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey said there are many positive things going on in the Natchitoches area when he spoke to the Agitators Club Wednesday evening. The longtime city councilman and two term mayor predicted within the next two to three years there could be 300-400 new jobs in the community. Some things are on the horizon but he is not at liberty to discuss them. He predicted the next couple years could be positive for the city. One of the bright spots is the microbrewery development on the former Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) property on Mill Street.

The developers are securing permits and should have them in two-three weeks. Cane River Brewing Co. LLC lists Daniel I. Page as registered agent and Cade Gentry and Justin Krouse as principals. The company was formed in December 2015. A development group in New Orleans is working with locals and believes it will draw nationally recognized companies.

The property is in the Historic District, is adjacent to Chaplain’s Lake and next to Northwestern State University and has unique characteristics that attract developer attention. Developers are partitioning the property now. He believes the project will have a big impact on the community and Northwestern. There is only one other microbrewery in Central Louisiana, in Marksville. A group in Alexandria is expected to begin operations on another one the first of the year. One of the partners in that venture is former Natchitoches resident Ray Gill. The mayor said the sports park that will be adjacent to Northwestern Hills Golf Course, will be let for bids within 90 days. The 100-acre development will have access from Northwestern Hills and from Hwy. 6. The project includes baseball and softball fields, a walking trail, biking trail, soccer fields, two ponds and a pavilion.

The same firm designing the Natchitoches complex also designed one in Youngsville, near Lafayette. Posey assured the group the Riverbank project will be completed in time for the Christmas Festival. The actual completion date was Wednesday, Oct. 15, but with allowances for rain and weather delays, the project is on target for completion the first week of November. Although restrooms are under construction at the south end of the Riverbank, the mayor said to expect the presence of portable restrooms to accommodate the large crowds. Posey said it will probably be spring before the Chaplain’s Lake project is finished. Some $300,000 was allocated for the project and within 60-90 days it should look much better.

A contractor is removing an enormous build-up of sludge that emptied into the lake from the City’s water treatment plant.