City-Parish President Joey Durel will convene the first meeting of the I-49 South Task Force at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. The task force — chaired by Durel — was formed last year by Gov. Bobby Jindal to determine statewide support for the project and “identify funding sources and/or innovative funding alternatives to fully fund the proposed project to extend Interstate 49 south from the city of Lafayette to the city of New Orleans.” The latter will be a monumental task, given the $5 billion plus price tag and the state's laundry list of other infrastructure needs.
Today’s task force meeting includes a presentation on the history of I-49 by former state Department of Transportation and Development secretary (and current Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Chairman) Kam Movassaghi. The task force also plans to identify goals and establish a schedule for regular meetings.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.