Now state and local government leaders are reviving a North Lafayette Redevelopment Agency to reinvent these properties and bring a new look to the area. It's been six years since state legislatures introduced the agency. State Representative Vincent Pierre is now giving it new life.
"This is the same bill that Senator Donald Cravins, Jr. initiated back in 2008. What we've done is we've picked the bill up to reinvigorate how this thing is going to happen and hopefully we can begin to have some discussions," said Pierre.
According to Pierre, specific changes to North Lafayette have not been decided upon but, Pierre said once the agency is up and running the focus will be on more than just blighted properties.
"This is a big issue. This has been going on way before I become state legislature so we're now wanting to address the now abandoning of properties, adjudicated properties, long grass, lighting and crime. The things that have always affected North Lafayette," said Pierre.
City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux said this has been a problem for the area for quite some time. "This has been an issue that has been ongoing for more than six years actually some 25 years if you really look at the data correctly," said Boudreaux.
Boudreaux said funding sources for the project have not been determined. "There are some funding sources that are pending. I'm not able to say who those are at this time. We're very confident that we're going to get the seed money necessary to get this thing going," said Boudreaux.
According to Boudreaux, once a staff is on board for the project, grant applications through federal and state government, and also private donations will be reviewed. He said he hopes that when redevelopment gets underway, residents in North Lafayette will be proud to live in the area. "We are looking to build community pride. We looking to get responsibility of land owners and assist where assistance is needed. Engage, inform and educate," said Boudreaux.
Boudreaux, who was instrumental in getting the project started, said beginning August first, a commission for the redevelopment project will have to be appointed within sixty days.
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