The Lafayette City-Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to endorse the Joie De Vivre affordable housing development being sponsored by Acadiana Outreach Center. The proposed development is to be centered at West Second and South Pierce streets, across Congress from downtown's IberiaBank tower, in the historic Mills Addition subdivision. The majority of the funding for the development is contingent upon the successful application of Federal Housing Administration tax credits. Greg Gachassin of the The Cartesian Group, the lead consultant on the project, says his group plans to submit its tax credit application next Friday. The tax credits will be awarded in December.
Plans for the project were first presented to the public in May. Gachassin says those plans have since been adjusted based on funding limitations, some unsuccessful property acquisitions and feedback from area residents. The total price tag for the project has dropped from approximately $25 million to $16.5 million. Gachassin says the number of apartments in the complex also has been reduced from 118 to 72, additional parking has been added, and some design features have changed. "We really changed the elevations, the looks, the facade of the development," he says. "We added some brick into it. It's not as modern a design as originally proposed. And that was based on feedback from people in the community who felt it was too modern a design and needed to be toned down a little bit."
Planners have kept the new designs under wraps until after Joie De Vivre makes its tax credit application, which is a competitive process. Gachassin says the new plans will likely be unveiled at a public meeting sometime next month. The tax credit application obligates Joie De Vivre to rent affordable units to tenants at or below 60 percent of Lafayette's annual Area Median Income of $57,500. In order to score additional points, the application also states Joie De Vivre will cater to individuals with children — requiring that 20 percent of tenants have a child living with them. For more on Joie De Vivre, and some of the controversy it has sparked among Mills Addition residents, read The Independent's May cover story, "A Fighting Chance."
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.