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Photo by FREDDIE HERPIN, Photographer

Contributing Writer

The symbolic ribbon was trimmed in half with oversized scissors Tuesday as state, city and parish elected officials gathered for a ceremony that marked the grand opening for the CLECO Opelousas Customer Service Office.

CLECO customers actually began doing business officially inside the 1,800-square foot new location located at 1511 Commerce Boulevard, two weeks ago, according to company officials who attended the event at the shopping center located off the northern Interstate 49 service road inside the Opelousas city limits.

Previously CLECO handled customers at 530 East Landry Street.

Shane Hilton, president of CLECO power said the lease for the new customer center will allow the company to operate there for at least three years with an option to renew.

Andre Guillory, CLECO vice-president and chief customer officer, said the new building will provide increased parking along with several other amenities.

“The building that you see behind us is more modern and a lot more pleasant and efficient,” Guillory said before the ribbon cutting ceremony started.

CLECO District Manager Sabrina Salling, whose outreach area includes Opelousas, said the current contract between the company and the city is scheduled to continue through 2031.

Opelousas has been provided with power services by CLECO for 30 years, Salling said.

CLECO president Shane Hilton the new building with a large lobby area should continue to provide what he described as “a high level of service.”

Hilton added that the company considers having a local presence is important for CLECO.

Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor complimented Salling for her continued assistance to the city.

While the ceremony was filled with company dignitaries, Alsandor reminded those attending the event that the event must not overlook the workers who are on the roads and attending to power lines.

“We have to remember to be thankful for those individuals. They are the ones who are going to be out there getting your power back on,” said Alsandor.