VP Chamber of Commerce: 2017 economic outlook for Vernon Parish

Vernon Parish, LA. (KALB) Vernon Parish has a lot to offer--at an affordable price for soldiers and their families, retirees, and civilians.

Vernon Parish, "small-town USA," has "unrestricted" potential for more growth in 2017, says Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce. (Source: KALB)

"The Army, the Department of Defense has not been able to replicate or identify another installation in the United States that offers the highest quality of living that we do for the least amount of money. It costs less to train a soldier here and provide a good standard of living that they can not replicate anywhere else."

That's something Logan Morris, Chair of the Economic Development Committee with the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce says they're always trying to improve.

"If there's one thing we have in Vernon Parish, it's got a lot of land and so we have the potential for growth. We have the commitment of a school system, an educational system to help educate a workforce. I'm welcoming and encouraging anyone who is interested in 'small-town USA' and unrestricted growth to come see us. We've got what you're looking for." said Morris.

At the top of the list for 2017: hiring an economic developer and organizing an economic development authority.

"Fort Polk is strategically and economically important to this area and we hope to diversify those efforts to include some other major industry and attract some major industry," said Morris. "Not only do we intend to hire someone but we intend to bank and earmark some funds for future development and growth should that become available to us."

Also this year: advancing designation for the Interstate 14 Central Texas Corridor, which would connect Fort Hood and Fort Polk (and Fort Bliss) for Army transportation needs and improve highway 8 at the Texas line at the Sabine river.

More locally, residential and commercial plans will continue for the LA 467 corridor, which connects Leesville to the west side of Fort Polk.

Morris says the project "doesn't seek to replace Entrance Road going to Fort Polk re-route some of that traffic or the industry and development there."

Water and sewer infrastructure along LA 467 has already been installed, funded by a State grant.