The four firms selected as finalists to produce a comprehensive master plan for Lafayette Consolidated Government are making their pitches until 4 p.m. Thursday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on West Vermilion Street downtown, and LCG is streaming the presentations live on the web at http://www.lafayettela.gov/ComprehensivePlan.asp. Acadiana Open Channel is also broadcasting the event.
Twelve planning firms from around the country responded to a request for qualifications LCG issued last October; the four finalists were recommended to City-Parish President Joey Durel by a 25-person committee that analyzed the responses to the RFQ. The four firms chosen are Coral Gables, Fla.-based Dover, Kohl & Partners; Fregonese Associates of Portland, Ore.; Goody Clancy of Boston, Mass.; and Philadelphia, Pa.’s Wallace Roberts & Todd. Each of the firms has extensive experience in city planning; some of them have produced comprehensive plans for cities along the Gulf Coast including in Louisiana.
The proposals submitted to LCG will address such issues as transportation, land use, infrastructure, cultural preservation and housing. At the request of Durel, the City-Parish Council has tucked away $400,000 each of the last two years as a down payment on what is anticipated to be a total cost of roughly $1.2 million to pay the winning firm to produce the plan, which will be based in part on a comprehensive plan — Lafayette In the Next Century — already undertaken by LCG in coordination with citizen- and professional committees. (Durel is expected to budget a third $400,000 installment for the comprehensive plan in the next fiscal year budget.)
The Center for Planning Excellence in Baton Rouge has assisted LCG in the issuance of the RFQ and in other aspects of the planning process
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AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 This post on the Morning Joe program's blog runs down Bobby Jindal's recent work to "raise his profile nationally." (Yeah? No kidding.) The best part of the story about the governor who coyly declines to say he's running for president? His long-time consultant who poo-poos the memory of his cringe-worthy response to the 2009 State of the Union by saying you can tell he's doing a good job on the current campaign trail. What campaign trail?
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
AUG 28 Scott Rogers, a television host who had a self-produced weekend morning show on WAFB, died in a shooting at his house, this story on the Baton Rouge television station tells us. He died in his St. Gabriel home, apparently at the hand of his son-in-law, who then turned the gun on himself, the story reports.
AUG 28 If you're one of those LSU football fans who think there is no greater sin than to fail as the school's football coach, this bad luck might make you happy. The son of former LSU Coach Gerry DiNardo was booked on drug and weapon charges, this post on the Picayune tells us.
AUG 28 If you lose in state court to your own constituents, the thing to do is sue the President. Right? Bayou Buzz takes a look at Bobby Jindal's legal "strategy," which basically seems aimed at getting his name in the papers. Hey -- looks like it's working!
AUG 28 Columnist Jeremy Alford takes a look at how the GOP and the Dems are approaching the Senate race in Louisiana. One study predicts a ho-hum outcome from this fall's elections, but in Louisiana the race is a focus for both parties, he says.
AUG 27 Columnist Stephanie Grace is writing about those bosom buddies (not), Bobby Jindal and David Vitter, in this post. On the one hand, the two politicians have so much in common, it's hard to tell them apart, she says. But Vitter has taken pains to distance himself from the governor, she says.
AUG 27 State retirees who get their health coverage through the state can look forward to paying more for premiums, drugs and out of pocket costs, blogger Tom Aswell tells us in this post. The problem is that Bobby Jindal's plan to privatize the system has resulted in a monthly $16 million deficit, Aswell says, so Bobby's trying to price retirees out of the system.
AUG 27 Blogger CB Forgotston is bumping up against shrill in this post, when he's talking about the taxpayer-funded house where State Police Commander Mike Edmonson lives on your dime. For instance, CB's complaining about the "servants," but the story he links to here reports that a convict cleans the house. CB also calls it a "mansion" but it sure looks more like a standard brick suburban house.
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