A Fort Scott Street building donation and a 10-year land lease will enable Wisner officials to create a public park and business incubator, said Mayor Marc McCarty.
Building renovation efforts will begin soon and will be financed by grant funds. When finished, the building will be available for startup businesses at a low-rent cost.
“We are trying to attract businesses to Wisner by providing a low-rent building to potential entrepreneurs,” McCarty said.
The one-story building, formerly the Wisner branch of the Franklin Parish Library in the 80s and 90s, was donated by Lane Feltus and family. Feltus is the grandson of the original owner, William Feltus. His family owned and operated Feltus Brothers Hardware in Natchez for many years.
“We are finishing up with some legal aspects,” McCarty said. “As soon as that part is complete, we will begin work on the building’s physical structure. The building is in descent shape, and we have some grant funds to bring it up to code and give it a facelift.”
Additionally, a 10-year lease on a one-acre plot of land, costing Wisner $1 a year, has been signed, said McCarty.
The land will be the site of Crawford Park, named after the original owner E.P and Vaudie Crawford. Eddie Wayne Crawford, their son, agreed to the lease.
The Crawfords were long-time residents of Wisner with Vaudie Crawford being a local beautician and E.P. Crawford working for Gilbert Oil in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Eddie Wayne Crawford is a retired police officer in Dallas.
The shaded park located next to the Franklin Parish Library Wisner branch will feature children’s playground equipment and picnic tables, McCarty said.
McCarty hopes to incorporate Franklin Parish Library into Crawford Park.
“We would love to work with the Library and maybe have a reading area,” McCarty said. “I am open for ideas and open to work with library officials.”
Park preparation and playground equipment will also be purchased through grants and private donations, McCarty said.
On another front, 42 American flags will be placed along La. Hwy 15 in Wisner. Wisner resident Gladys Edwards spearheaded efforts to secure donations for the flags with a number of individuals, including former and current residents, making contributions.
McCarty said he hopes to have the flags flying by Veterans Day.
In a related topic, plans are being made for a possible Children’s Music Park in Wisner.
“This park will be located on a small green space in Wisner,” McCarty said. “We are talking with the owners now, and they have expressed interest in donating the space to Wisner.”
The music park will feature “homemade instruments” designed to “inspire the love of music” in children and those who visit the park, McCarty said. The park will also have benches and will be landscaped.