By Kyle Roberts
There were no dams to be seen blocking Buc-ee’s from continuing forward in Ruston and Lincoln Parish after unanimous votes in both the Lincoln Parish Police Jury and the Lincoln Parish School Board on Tuesday night.
Mayor Ronny Walker addressed the LPPJ alongside Stan Beard, the director of real estate for Buc-ee’s, to answer questions regarding the building project as the city looks to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with CSMS Management, LLC, to bring the convenience store giant to Lincoln Parish. After a clarifying question from Mr. Joe Henderson of District 9 regarding taxes, the vote passed unanimously 12-0.
At the school board meeting, superintendent Ricky Durrett put forth the Buc-ee’s package to vote after Beard addressed the board before heading to the police jury meeting.
“We could not have found a better partner than Ruston and this school district,” Beard said to the school board. “We’re excited to be here.”
The school board then voted unanimously 11-0 in favor of continuing the project.
After passing through the appropriate civic bodies Tuesday, the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce has extended an official welcome to Buc-ee’s as it will build its first store in Louisiana right here in Ruston.
“This is a great development for Lincoln Parish residents and visitors alike,” Eric McCulloch said, who serves as Chairman of the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber Board of Directors. “We look forward to the I-20 travelers that will stop for the Buc-ee’s experience and then discover the unique offerings of Ruston-Lincoln Parish community. We’re excited to see the long-term benefits and positive impact of Buc-ee’s Ruston location.”
President and CEO of Ruston-Lincoln Chamber Will Dearmon echoed McCulloch’s excitement in a statement.
“Ruston’s strategic location along the I-20 corridor makes it the perfect choice for Buc-ee’s expansion into Louisiana, and the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber is committed to supporting Buc-ee’s as they invest in this area,” Dearmon said. “I want to recognize the efforts by the City of Ruston, City Council members, and other key community partners who worked to bring this economic opportunity to Ruston. Buc-ee’s is sure to play an active role in the continued success and development of our local business community.”
Buc-ee’s is expected to be a $50 million project that is estimated to bring in 200 new jobs to Ruston among the potential for future economic windfalls such as more restaurants and other businesses. The travel center will be built off of Tarbutton Road on the north side of I-20 across from Ruston Junior High. The timeline is January of 2025.
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