Improvements to downtown Opelousas underway

Improvements to downtown Opelousas are underway. Officials said the “facelift” has been the big item for city leaders’ to do list for nearly a decade.

Mayor Reginald Tatum said these improvements to the downtown area have been a longtime coming.

“We’re working on the signage. We’re putting historic signs all around. Also, we’re working on the signal lights,” said Reginald Tatum, Opelousas Mayor.

New traffic signal light pole installations are currently underway for ten intersections in the city and one of those seven of those poles will be in the downtown area with most of them will featuring cross walk signal buttons. He said grants are helping bring this $200,000 project to life.

“There’s a little bit that we have to put forward, but a lot of that is going to be in kind money which is we’re going to provide the workers, some of the materials, but for the most part a lot of it is grant money,” said Tatum.

Reconstructing sidewalks is on Tatum’s list of improvements, as well as beautifying old and unused buildings.

“We also have some façade grants that we’re working on right now where we’re going to fix the outward stores even the one that’s vacant. We’re still going to fix them up to where people are going to look at them and want to put their businesses there,” said Tatum.

Resident Kathleen Fontenot, looking forward to these new developments, says, “It’s been needing it for so long. The buildings have been empty. I would like to see more boutiques, more shopping areas,” said Fontenot.

Tatum said he hopes to have these renovations completed within a year.

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