State turns down funding for north Lafayette improvement

Photo: KLFY/ Dalfred Jones

The state has rejected anticipated funding for the North Lafayette Redeployment Authority’s project to address blighted properties and improve intersections.

The state Bond Commission did not approve $1 million to fund three of the fledgling organization’s projects aimed to revitalize the northern portion of the parish.

State Rep. Vincent Pierre, who helped establish the authority last year, called the decision a disappointment.

“I’m very disappointed that the State Bond Commission chose not to approve $1 million for three projects aimed at revitalizing north Lafayette,” Pierre said in a statement Tuesday.

The Capital Outlay Bill contained $391.4 million in appropriations for new projects statewide.  After the Bond Commission approved lines of credit in July, these projects were vying for about $5.8 million in available funds.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office established its list of selected projects to be sent to the Bond Commission for approval. The NLRA’s projects didn’t make the list, Pierre said.

“It’s very unfortunate that after being approved by the Legislature and the governor, who signed the Capital Outlay Bill, that the North Lafayette funding was passed over in the final step of the process,” Pierre said.

But it’s not necessarily back to the drawing board for the redevelopment authority, its chairmen Chris Williams said. The $1 million was to be broken up into three programs — $500,000 was to be allocated to adjudicated properties, $250,000 for intersection improvement and $250,000 was to go toward creating green space such as pocket parks.

The authority will continue to look for other funding options and plans to re-submit for state funding next year, Williams said.

“We will be attending a workshop on Dec. 30 on how to begin the process to re-submit,” Williams said. “The good thing is we know that the Acadiana Delegation members are behind this initiative. So we hope for the best in whatever we may be able to phase in this year. If not, we know we are going to be at the top of the list next year.”

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