Ard hopes city can add industry: Longtime businessman anxious to help city council

Published 4:33 am Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Council member-elect Scott Ard said that after months on the campaign trail for the District D seat, he has a good idea of what the city needs.

“Certainly some of the concerns are the infrastructure of the city,” he said. “But the business side of that is, where does the money come from? How do you achieve that?”

This year the city is facing a budget shortfall that is testing the limits of the city’s already frugal budget. Ard said he believes the city could reach out to different industries to lure in business. However, Ard said he didn’t have any easy fixes in mind.

“I am thinking we’re going to have to do some more discussions and have more conversations with outside people we haven’t talked to,” he said.

Ard said he has a background in the oil and gas industry, and would like to begin there, although he’s open to any industry.

“Let’s reach out and keep reaching out. For every 100 contacts you make you might get a response from 10 and then have a conversation with two,” he said.

Ard praised the work on the airport, as he said that’s a selling point for the city. Ard said he also wants to ask various industries what Bogalusa could do to bring them to town, and he also hopes to address the declining population.

“How do we get people to stay in Bogalusa? We have educational concerns and we have crime concerns,” he said. “We have a lot of things we need to address.”

Despite the gloomy economic news, Ard said he thought Bogalusa is in a similar economic circumstance as other cities.

“I think that puts us the same boat as every other municipality in the United States right now,” he said. “Economic impact is at an all-time low across the nation, not just in Bogalusa.”

The District D seat was the only seat open on the Bogalusa City Council this year and Ard will replace Andy Deleon, who could not run for re-election.

Ard will be sworn in at Bogalusa City Hall on Nov. 28 at 3 p.m.