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.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Urgent Care clinics unprepared for Ebola; Nazis collected Social Security; Hawaii dodges a bullet and more national and international news for Monday, October 20, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Two bedroom cottage in Lafayette or three bedroom traditional in Erath
Gulf Brew ready threads
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
One bedroom townhouse or two bedroom townhouse in Lafayette
Hit the barre for a good cause
Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child’s teacher. They know!
Get your groove on with two free concerts in Downtown Lafayette Friday, both at Parc Sans Souci.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit?
Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been decided: Superintendents of Louisiana’s public school system will retain the controversial powers granted by Act 1 of the 2012 session.
Economist Loren Scott says Louisiana is in the midst of an industrial boom unlike any other in its history, with more than $100 billion in industrial projects either under construction or in the engineering and design phase.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has a bone to pick with the Jindal administration, which recently — surprise! — announced that the state ended the most recent budget year with a $178.5 million dollar surplus.
Where will we get french fries smothered in awesomeness now?