Parish President Rick Nowlin announced that the state has eliminated funding for three local highway projects at a Parish Council meeting May 9. Nowlin learned that the State capital outlay budget (House Bill 2) was amended to eliminate funding for the following projects:
• Payne Subdivisions Streets
Last year’s capital outlay bill included $1,015,000 and the State Bond Commission approved the $1,015,000. This year’s HB 2, prepared by the administration, reduced the funding to $500,000. The House Ways and Means Committee cut the $500,000.
“Had we kept the $500,000, we would have proceeded with approximately half of the streets and gone back next year for the remainder,” said Nowlin.
• Fish Hatchery Road
Last year’s capital outlay bill included $1,250,000 and the State Bond Commission approved the $1,250,000. This year’s HB 2 reduced the funding to $125,000.
“This would have been enough to cover the planning and design costs, but we would have had to go back next year for the remaining $1,125,000 for the construction,” said Nowlin.
However, the Committee cut the $125,000.
• Blanchard Road
Last year’s capital outlay bill included $280,000 and the State Bond Commission approved the $280,000. This year’s HB 2 left the $280,000 in the bill. However, the Committee cut it out.
“In addition, last year we had two funding amounts in the bill for the Old River Bridge,” said Nowlin. “One was $610,000 and the other was $895,000. It would take both to build the new bridge. The administration’s bill this year included only the $610,000 and the Committee left it in.”
Nowlin said the Parish Government will continue to do what it can to get some of the funding restored, but it will be a challenge.
There is still a little good news. The following are still in the bill reported by the Committee to the House:
• Courthouse Security Project: $480,000
• Coco Bed Road: $280,000