The City-Parish Council on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of resolution that will allow a private nonprofit organization to lease the 100-acre Horse Farm property from the city in order to raise the funds necessary to develop the raw acreage into a public park. Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit created through the Community Foundation of Acadiana, will enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement/lease with the city, at which time it will begin raising money to design and construct the park and create a fund for perpetual maintenance.
City-Parish President Joey Durel estimated that the total cost of the park — both for the initial build-out as well as the long-term maintenance — could be up to $30 million. But Durel also argued that taking the process of developing the park out of the government’s hands and turning it over to a nonprofit comprising more than a dozen representatives of the private sector, is the right thing to do:
"As it relates to fundraising, I believe that one of the first things you think of when you’re talking in terms of getting it out of government and into the private sector is, I believe that there are companies and there are people out there who will give millions of dollars to do something like this for our community. I don’t think they would give millions of dollars to us to do [the government]."
Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux, who was otherwise supportive of the resolution and has backed the Horse Farm process from its inception, expressed some concern about a lack of diversity in Lafayette Central Park Inc. Save for one board member, the 14-member, volunteer board of directors comprising mainly titans of industry in the Hub City along with the two paid employees of the nonprofit are all white.
“I just ask that on this one we jump through hoops, we flip backwards, we do whatever incredible tasks we need to do, to make sure that this truly can be for all of Lafayette and surrounding areas,” Boudreaux commented.
Lafayette Central Park Inc. has contracted with the Urban Land Institute, which will develop the process for converting the 100 acres into a park. The process will involve input from the public. After that, a firm will be hired to take that community input and design the park. And while the council will have some say in the programming phase of the Horse Farm’s development, much of the process after that will be out of the council’s hands.
To read the resolution granting the lease and cooperative endeavor agreement with Lafayette Central Park Inc., click here.
To view discussion of the resolution, which occurs early in the meeting, click here.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Finally, mad people on the interwebz is a good thing! World wide webby outrage has caused the village of Moreauville to reverse its plan to confiscate pit bulls and Rottweillers and euthanize them simply because of their breed, WAFB reports here. The plan? They're going to enforce the leash law. Well, that would have been a good place to start.
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
NOV 26 Unless you're in Virigina, you shouldn't count on seeing our Governor on Election Day. Mark Ballard writes in the Advocate's political blog that Bobby will be appearing at a GOP love fest of some kind there, instead of spending the day here.
NOV 26 This post on The Lens takes a look at the ongoing dispute in New Orleans over the banners about the upcoming tax election for the school system. The banners are hanging on schools, and some feel they are promotional, which is not allowed, instead of educational - which is allowed.
NOV 26 Not all college students are focused on football games and parties at this time of year. This post on DIG Baton Rouge recounts an LSU student group that tries to make sure that those who are hungry and homeless are not forgotten by those of us who aren't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly