The Lafayette Consolidated Council decided to delay until April 7 any decisions on how to divvy up more than $9 million in federal stimulus dollars among a host of road- and public-transit projects. That could give planners time to better streamline priorities on the current list of candidate projects.
City-Parish President Joey Durel publicly questioned the wisdom in at least one of the projects pertaining to public transportation: $75,000 for hurricane-proof bus shelters. The issue came up Thursday morning during Durel’s call-in radio program in KPEL, and he elaborated on it with The Independent Weekly. The proposal for a $75,000 expenditure is not to build the shelters but rather to generate a design for a hurricane-proof shelter. The shelters themselves would cost $7,500 apiece, according to Durel.
“One of my questions was, ‘We’re going to spend $75,000 just to design a hurricane proof shelter that costs us $7,500?’ You know, I’d rather take my chances than spend that much money,” Durel says, “That’s not building it; that’s just designing it.”
Durel also wonders whether LCG could simply pattern a hurricane-proof bus shelter after a pre-existing design, rather than design one from scratch. “Surely, somewhere in the southern part of the United States on the Gulf Coast, somebody has designed a hurricane-proof shelter.”
However, the city-parish president says he isn't too concerned that something like a hurricane-proof bus shelter will get in the way of making the best decisions on how to allocate the stimulus money. “They have to put things on a piece of paper so there can be discussion about it. But that certainly doesn’t make it anywhere close to being etched in stone.”
Other proposals on the list of public-transit projects include $800,000 to purchase two 35-foot low-floor buses and roughly $431,000 to upgrade bus communications systems. By far the most expensive proposal is to spend $2.5 million for upgrades to the Rosa Parks Transportation Center downtown. A PDF document detailing the list of proposed stimulus spending for both road- and public-transit projects can be obtained here.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.