A stand-still agreement has been reached between South Webster Industrial District (SWID) and Knight Street Associates, LLC.
Last week SWID representatives met with Knight to negotiate terms of operation until the matter can be further settled.
"I drafted a letter to Knight with the intent of doing business without going to court," said James Madden, SWID board member. "As the terms of our agreement were discussed, I explained this was not looked at by our lawyer.
"(I said) we wanted to come to an agreement – as businesses ought to be able to do – without getting lawyers involved," Madden continued. "I explained we were trying to do the best we could with a deal that didn't turn out like we thought it would."
The property, which was subleased by Temple Inland, has been vacant for approximately nine months.
According to SWID, Knight defaulted on certain parts of the lease. SWID then sent a letter asking them to sign a new contract or vacate the premises.
SWID board members are hopeful an agreement can be reached that is mutually beneficial to Knight and SWID.
"The whole intent of SWID was to create businesses and jobs that would be beneficial to the immediate area," Madden said. "We, (SWID) have to keep that as our priority as we reach agreements and I have explained that to them."
In other business:
The board voted in officers, electing Hunt Powell as President and Henry Bridges as Secretary/Treasurer. Ty Pendergrass' position is still vacant after his resignation.
"I felt like it was time for new leadership," Pendergrass said. "SWID is at a point where it is trying to cross the railroad, and work on deals with a building. I was appointed in the later 90s to early 2000s and feel like someone with a fresh perspective would serve better."
SWID was created in 1980 and shortly after, 228 acres of former Penal Farm property was donated by the Webster Parish Police Jury to SWID.
What makes SWID attractive to prospective employers is available land, affordable land and competitive electricity prices with City of Minden, Entergy and Claiborne Electric in that one spot.
Of that acreage, the park boasts several industries on 100 acres of developed land.
The governing authority of the district is a board of commissioners appointed by the cities of Minden and Dixie Inn, the municipalities of Sibley, Dubberly, Heflin and Doyline, the Webster Parish Police Jury and Minden Economic Development Council.
Each commissioner serves for a three-year term of office.
Including Bridges, current board members are Madden, Powell, Bridges, Rickey Killian, James Smith and G. Kent Gibson.