Economic progress in Iberia Parish

Operation Progress in Iberia Parish, a parish-wide pledge to get a list of projects done that will improve the parish's economy and make it more attractive for future residents, has checked off one of their signature initiatives this week.

It's The Playground Enhancement Project in New Iberia's City Park.

Officials say with an unexpected $55,000 donation from the Bristow group the new playground will be fully installed by November and will feature state of the art equipment.

The entire project will cost $210,000 and will take up over 8,000 sq.-ft. in the park, and will include a network of slides, a rock climbing wall and even AstroTurf.

“It's started. We are in the process now. We met last week with the Miracle Corp. Group that we are buying the equipment from,” says Lloyd Verret, a board member for the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

Verret has been an overseer for this project since its inception over two years ago and says with a surprise donation from The Bristow Group last week they surpassed their $205,000 goal and will now begin construction.

“It was a god send. It was unexpected, they and said we are going to finalize this thing and give you the final $55,000 and we can go ahead and make plans to get the project in,” says Verret.

The Bristow Group was not only finalizing The Playground Enhancement Project, but scratching off one of the long-term goals of Iberia Parish's Operation Progess; an official to-do list the parish created this year to increase their population and boost their economy.

“Well it's very important because one of the concerns we have in Iberia parish is attracting and keeping our young families, so the better our playgrounds and activities for young families, the better off we are attracting them and keeping them her,” says Janet Faulk-Gonzales, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce.

“The playground is important because it helps enhance our park and we have a very beautiful park. It's very shaded and we want people to continue to use it and I think it's a great attraction for young families who want to start up in New Iberia. It's a very relaxing place. It's safe,” says City Council Member Natalie Robin.

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