Mayor Lee Posey met with the Citizens for Democratic Action (CDA) for an informative discussion Thursday evening, Sept. 1.
Arthur Welch asked Posey about the Recreation Complex project. Posey said the City is in the process of buying 100 acres by the NSU Hidden Hills Golf Course. Northwestern State University has close to 100 acres. Combined, the land will accommodate walking and biking trails and facilities for baseball, football, softball and soccer.
“We’re behind what everyone else is doing recreationally across the state,” said Posey.
The City will interview three design firms for the project that have a history of building these types of complexes.
When asked if there will be a spinoff for other businesses to profit from the complex being built in Natchitoches, Posey said this is the whole reason for doing it. The complex will allow them to increase the amount of teams that can be accommodated at tournaments.
“People love coming to Natchitoches,” he said. “Besides our food and atmosphere, our centralized location is key. This can become an economic driving force in the City to bring more people to town.”
He hopes to get the firm on board in the next 60 days. The next step is for the National Guard and Armory to clear approximately 50 acres of the land. Construction is projected to begin in fall of next year, with completion sometime in 2018.
With bookings already set for October, the Chateau St. Denis hotel is planning a soft opening the first or second weekend in October. Posey said with the amount of rainfall this year, it’s held up every project the City has in progress.
Welch asked about the lawsuit filed against the City by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, saying it “needs to be put to bed.”
Posey said they’ve made a response to the initial letter they received. “We don’t intend on losing the battle,” he said.
When asked if the shortfalls in state funding have affected the City, Posey said they’re doing well despite it. His plan is to get very aggressive with the streets, doing drainage and street maintenance. However, he did say that he doesn’t anticipate any big money from he state for capital outlay projects.
Harold Bayonne asked about the construction of safety entrance/exit roads in Town South and Pan Am Subdivisions. Posey said the City has finished buying the land needed for the project and hopes to start in the next 60 days.
Pedestrian crosswalk signs at the Church Street Bridge and removal of dilapidated houses on the West side of town were other topics of interest to the group.
Summing it all up, Posey said one of the first things any industry looks at when expanding operations is the quality of life in the area. All these projects and ideas are working toward improving Natchitoches and its quality of life.
“We’ve got to catch up,” he said.
On that note, he was excited to announce the City’s purchase of three ballparks near the MLK Center. He wants to buy an additional piece of land from the Parish and use grant funding to do something really special for the community in the area.