GONZALES - The city council voted 2-1 to award a rezoning request so Crawford Electric can build a warehouse on five acres of PriceCo land.

Crawford Electrical Supply Co. wants to build its multi-million dollar, 54,000 square-foot facility on Highway 44 east of I-10. The plot is zoned as retail and needed to be rezoned by city leaders. The project has already been given the green light by planning and zoning, the tax assessor's office and the city's chamber of commerce.

But, when it came to city government, there was an issue. And it created controversy. Finally, a vote Monday moved things forward but not everyone on the city council approved the rezoning request.

Mayor Pro-Tem Terance Irvin recused himself since his family owns property near the land. Councilman Tim Vessel voted against the rezoning, wanting to hold the land for future retailers, and Councilman Gary Lacombe abstained. Councilmen Kirk Boudreaux and Kenny Matassa voted for the rezoning.

At the meeting, Gonzales Chief of Police Bill Landry spoke about his disappointment in the council.

"You should serve and represent the people, and the pleasure and the needs and desires of the people you represent," he said. "Not to make the administration look bad. Because that's just what happened."

Charles Bondy, who represents PriceCo, says the land will sell for $750,000.

"We're pleased," said Bondy. "It moves business forward. We can sell our land and Mr. Boyce can build a building for Crawford."

PHL Investments, owned by James Boyce, is contracted to build the warehouse and rent it out to Crawford Electric. They hope to break ground in 90 days and open doors within a year. The company plans to create 50 local jobs.

Image: WBRZ