Business briefs

Little interest in Youngsville hotel tax
LAFAYETTE  (AP) — Interest in a proposed hotel tax in Youngsville of up to 4 percent was apparently not high enough to bring out residents to cast early ballots for Saturday’s election.
Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters Charlene Menard said early voting for the tax election ran from Oct. 5 to Oct. 12, but no one showed up.
She said it is the first time in more than 20 years in Lafayette Parish that no one has arrived at the downtown registrar’s office to cast an early ballot in an election.
Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator speculated that turnout for early voting could be low because the tax is the only measure on the ballot, and perhaps the trip from Youngsville to downtown Lafayette was a bit too far to vote on one issue.
Manufacturing moving to B.R.
BATON ROUGE — A company that makes liquid level gauges is moving its manufacturing and headquarters facility from Houston to Baton Rouge.
Jogler LLC announced the plans Friday at an event with Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The move will happen in November.
The governor’s office says the relocation will create 60 new direct jobs in the capital city, averaging a $59,300 annual salary, but those won’t all be available immediately. The jobs will be filled within the next 10 years.
Jogler manufactures liquid level indicators, sight flow indicators, magnetic level indicators and level controls for various industries.
The company will receive tax breaks from the state, along with assistance in worker training.
BASF donated 100K to LSU center 
GEISMAR — Chemical manufacturer BASF has donated $100,000 to the LSU Foundation to support construction of the LSU Olinde Career Center.
LSU broke ground on the center in May 2012. It will be located in the Student Union and is charged with helping students choose careers, developing job search skills and securing employment. Completion is expected in April 2014.
The center will unite LSU Career Services’ two current campus locations into a single facility.
Baton Rouge shopping center changes hands 
BATON ROUGE  (AP) — A shopping center near Airline Highway and Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge has been sold for $2.35 million to a group of investors who plan to bring two upscale resale stores to the area.
Baton Rouge Land Development, a group that includes Lafayette businessman Don Pippin Jr. and Tony Finical of Baton Rouge, bought the center in a deal that closed on Oct. 4. The seller was North Airline Properties.
The property includes two buildings that are a little over 8,000 square feet each and a 5,000-square-foot warehouse.
Finical plans to bring in two new stores: Once Upon a Child, which buys and resells children’s clothing and accessories; and Style Encore, which buys and resells women’s designer clothing.
The Once Upon a Child store is expected to open in January and would be the company’s fourth in Louisiana, joining locations in Lafayette, Mandeville and Metairie.
Company to create N.O. software center 
NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana officials have announced that a health care company plans to expand its operations in the New Orleans area, adding several dozen new jobs.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office said Wednesday that ChenMed’s creation of a new software development center in the city’s Central Business District will create 50 new jobs with an average annual salary of $83,000.
ChenTech, a ChenMed subsidiary, develops software products for doctors, hospitals and clinics that are primarily used to treat Medicare-eligible patients.
ChenMed already operates four medical clinics in the New Orleans area under the JenCare brand.
New grain facility signs lease at port 
ROSEDALE, Miss. (AP) — Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a global merchandiser of oilseeds, grains, feed and rice, will invest $20 million in a grain elevator and barge loading facility at the Port of Rosedale along the Mississippi River.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities expects the Rosedale Port terminal to create up to 10 new jobs by the time it begins operation in the summer of 2014.
“This is a very positive and exciting development for the Port of Rosedale and for the farming community of Bolivar County,” said Robert Maxwell, director of the port, said.
“It will help set the stage for further economic growth and prosperity in our county.”
Louis Dreyfus officials said the Rosedale facility will provide a new outlet for local farmers to sell corn and soybeans to the company for subsequent export to its newly opened terminal at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge.
The Baton Rouge new elevator is expected to handle up to 5 million metric tons of grains and oilseeds annually during the first phase of operations. The dock will be able to load a vessel at a rate of 100,000 bushels an hour and unload at the rate of 80,000 bushels an hour.
“We believe that the new terminal at the Port of Rosedale creates significant opportunities for farmers and other members of the surrounding community,” said Mikael Mörn, CEO of Louis Dreyfus Commodities for North America.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC is headquartered in Wilton, Conn.
City takes a step toward Bywater development 
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The city has taken ownership of the former Navy facility along the Mississippi River in the Bywater neighborhood.
The transfer is a step toward realizing long-standing ambitions to redevelop the 25-acre site.
Plans have moved slowly for years to transform the former Naval Support Activity-East Bank site into an emergency operations center for disaster management staff, as well as retail, housing and education facilities.
Even after the transfer from the federal government, it’s not clear when those plans might actually bear fruit.
Pascagoula LNG terminal awaits federal export OK 
BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Investors spent $1 billion building a facility in Pascagoula to import liquefied natural gas. But plans to bring natural gas into the United States collapsed when explorers began finding large quantities of natural gas in the United States.
Now, Kinder Morgan, the pipeline company that operates the facility, is trying to get approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to export natural gas to countries with which the United States doesn’t have free trade agreements.
Kinder Morgan Vice President Norman Holmes told the Southern States Energy Board on Monday that approval could spark as much as $8 billion of investment at the plant. The board approved a resolution calling on the U.S. Department of Energy and other regulators to ease and speed up licensing of export facilities.

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