Louisiana Speaks regional plan unveiled
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND -- Louisiana citizens want more transit options, improved economic development efforts and better ways to reduce risk from future storms, area citizens were told last week by representatives of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.
The Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan, a presentation hosted by the LRA and the Hammond Chamber of Commerce at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Southeast Louisiana Business Center, was unveiled by members of the LRA and citizen leaders.
Tens of thousands of citizens weighed in on the regional poll, said Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas, president of the Center for Planning Excellence.
“We were listening when Louisiana spoke, and this regional plan is the result,” said Thomas.
Key proposals include a multi-pronged risk management strategy, which includes recommendations to support the restoration of wetlands, construction of strategic levees, and building code enforcement. Other proposals include focusing infrastructure and development in existing communities, reducing financial and regulatory barriers to development, and the development of a rail line between Baton Rouge and New Orleans along the I-10 corridor.
Plans of action announced include the creation of the Louisiana Community Reinvestment Trust Fund, the development of an Office of State Planning, identification of financing mechanisms for a transit system, and identifying financial incentives for building code compliance and voluntary mitigation measures.
“We were pleased to be able to host this important event as it provided a valuable opportunity for our citizens to hear details about the plan,” said William Joubert, director of the Southeast Louisiana Business Center.