Over the 4th of July weekend, some furniture items were stolen from a newly constructed parklet off Jefferson Street in Downtown Lafayette. But for those who handle the project, the bad situation quickly turned around.
The outdoor space is part of the revitalization of Downtown Lafayette—a new spot for people to sit, enjoy a cup of coffee or gelato. But there are now fewer spots to sit after a table and four chairs were stolen.
Kate Durio with Downtown Lafayette and one of the leaders of the project says it was an easy target.
"We were locking the furniture up at first, running cable through it, with a padlock when we left at 5:00,” said Durio. “But, we started to get complaints from people saying, ‘oh we went to go sit at the parklet and eat gelato, but it was locked when we got there.’"
With no surveillance video or witnesses, it's unclear who is responsible. They did file a police report, but are not interested in pressing charges; they simply want their furniture back, which was paid for by roughly 20 sponsors. Despite the breach of trust, its clear areas like this are important to people.
"Yesterday, a downtown business owner contacted us directly and asked how much it would cost to replace the furniture and if told him and he said he would drop the check off tomorrow,” said Durio.
But this incident will not change downtown's approach to current or future parklet spaces. Durio says it belongs to everyone.
"We're going to continue to trust and we'll make people more aware of the parklet as people are passing by to keep an eye on it,” said Durio. “We can't be everywhere all the time and we don't want to lock it up. That’s not the point."
Although a police report was filed, Durio says if the furniture is returned in good condition, there will be no questions asked.
1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
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