A new partnership between the Monroe City Council and the Police Department could make city streets safer. That’s just one of the several stories to report out of the city council meeting on Tuesday night.

Under the leadership of Officer Mark Johnson each council member will be assigned a deputy for his or her district. That deputy will work with the assigned member to answer any questions or concerns they have about their districts.

Chief Quentin Holmes says this program is just another way the department wants to improve their presence in the community.

“Of course the council members get contacted an awful lot about citizens. This will help bridge the gap so that we can be more responsive to citizens’ needs in a much timely manner,” Holmes said.

The council is also allowing the police department to buy 10 new Chevy Tahoes. The SUV’s cost around $30,000 each.

In other news, the Monroe Regional Airport terminal is only three years old, but the city council voted to dedicate more than $500,000 to renovations. The project includes several upgrades and expansion. The estimated cost $525,000 and the engineering department says it’s worth it to keep the terminal looking new and working properly.

“It’s building out some of the office spaces that weren’t built out before that are going to be available for business incubation or someone to rent or retail area. It’s upgrading the air conditioning. It’s making the electrical a little more resilient. It’s an upgrade package,” city engineer Kim Golden said.

A southside economic project is also moving forward after hitting a speed bump last month. The council voted to re-advertise for bids on a development project in that area.

The project will provide sewer and water to a plot of land being developed for a convenience store. The city agreed to extend its infrastructure in hopes of sparking more development in south Monroe.

Initially, the city only received one bid and it was too high. So they rejected that bid last month.

The city expects the project to cost around $525,000.

Also, big news for the city of Monroe. If all goes as planned, the city will soon get a craft brewery facility because the council voted to allow a business to open up shop on in the downtown.

Flying Tiger Brewery has already bought a building on North Second Street. Now that they’ve been given the go ahead, they will start the process of making craft beer on site. Once they are up and running, the craft beer will be for sale, they’ll have tours at the facility, and a tasting room open to the public.

Robert Brewer, a co-founder of the company, tells us the endeavor could bring in tax dollars, eight new jobs the day it opens, and more tourism in the area.

“There is quite a bit of renovations and revitalization in the downtown area, we just want to be another piece to that puzzle. We want to add a destination location for not only the locals but also for possible tourist that come in and visit our facility, tour the brewery, sample the beer we are going to be making,” Brewer said.

The owners also want to keep a local feel. They tell us they have already experimented with a Ruston peach beer, and they hope to be up and completely running by Spring.

Craft Brewery Coming to Monroe

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)