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City of Baker Infrastructure, economic development plans moves forward

BAKER, La. — As a preface, every thriving community is built on a solid foundation.

Infrastructure is that foundation when community leaders develop and implement a plan for the community. Infrastructure promotes economic growth, and economic growth brings about changes and expansion in infrastructure. As leaders look ahead where future growth or redevelopment is planned, they identify needs such as water, sewer, gas, broadband, etc., and work to improve or add these services.

The City of Baker, which provides utility services, is uniquely positioned to serve the public best and attract new investment as a utility provider because they are community-owned, locally operated, and regulated, which means they are serving the public interest. They are doing this are by offering highly competitive rates for service and, last but certainly not least, serving as a means for reinvesting in the community. The dollars you spend as a business or resident remain here, and they create local jobs, which are direct reinvestment in the City of Baker and the North Baton Rouge area.

Some of Baker's local initiatives around utilities are focused on the City's west side, where we see rapid growth and redevelopment. A few projects underway on the west side: water distribution system improvements to Groom Road, La Hwy. 964 and Heck Young Road, a new 1,000 GPM water well on Groom Road, a further 300,000 elevated water storage tank (tower) on Groom Road. All these items will significantly improve water pressure for the entire City as it adds a new point for providing service to the west side and alleviates the need for the service to be pumped from the east side of the City to the west side. In addition, a new Fire Station will be built alongside the new water tower to provide emergency services more rapidly on the west side of the City.

These items are known as critical, complex infrastructure. Critical infrastructure is essential to the functioning of a society and economy, and Hard Infrastructure is the physical system necessary to run a modern, industrialized city. These are foundational keys to the success and future economic growth of a community.

Across the City, Baker has many other infrastructure projects underway, all of which are a part of the City's long-term plans for growth. Another exciting project is the CATS transit center, which resides within the Plank Road Economic Development District. The future site for this transit center is located at the corner of Lavey Lane and Plank Road, as shown in the conceptual drawing. This transit center will connect with the CATS rapid transit system, making this an exciting addition that complements access to the BREC Zoo and Greenwood Park, offering the first of its kind park and ride site, where commuters can safely park their vehicle and take a relaxing bus ride to their rapid transit connection.

There are a lot of good things happening in Baker. Stay tuned for more!

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