PAYNE SUBDIVISION STREET IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT RIBBON CUTTING
See Additional Road Projects and Event Photos below
Parish President Rick Nowlin and community attended a ribbon cutting for the construction contract for the first phase of the Payne Subdivision Street Improvements project, which has been awarded to Crosskeys Construction Company of Shreveport. The ribbon cutting was held on Wednesday, June 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the Payne Drive entrance to the subdivision. Mr. J. W. Scarborough, local businessman and former Parish Government representative served as the Master of Ceremonies.
The street project has been needed for many years and was made a priority project of the Parish under the new Home Rule Charter government. The Parish worked with its legislative delegation and the governor’s office to get the project into the State Capital Outlay program. Phase I will cost approximately $267,000 with $200,000 of that amount being State funds. Phase II is also in the Capital Outlay program and will cost approximately $400,000 with $300,000 being state funds. The Parish funds are coming from the road tax approved by the voters years ago.
1. Under the HRC, the Parish has actively sought financial assistance from both the State of LA and the federal government to improve its roads. To date, they have not received any federal assistance; although the feds have implemented a local road program, it is still administered through DOTD. The Parish is awaiting approval for funding on the federal level.
2. On the State level, the Parish has had some success. With the support of a legislative delegation and the Governor’s office, several projects have been funded. For example, several years ago, Rick Nowlin and the Council set the highway funding priorities and selected roads for Capital Outlay applications. During that process, Coco Bed Road and the streets in Payne Subdivision were chosen to be top Parish priorities. Of course, there were other roads that were considered priorities and State Capital Outlay applications have also been submitted for them on numerous occasions. Residents on Coco Bed Road had been waiting nearly 30 years for the Parish to improve their road and the HRC finally got something done. The Coco Bed project has been completed.
3. Other highway projects – the State Capital Outlay program includes $280,000 for the reconstruction of Blanchard Road. This project is awaiting final approval from the State Bond Commission, and then can proceed. The Parish match on this project is approximately $94,000, giving a total amount of $374,000.
4. The state has also dedicated $125,000 for the planning and design phase of the reconstruction of Fish Hatchery Road, but no activity will occur until the balance of the planning and construction funds (approximately $1,447,000) from the State are dedicated in a future legislative session. Even if the Parish were to receive the State funds (totaling $1,572,000), it would have a difficult time moving forward with the project because the Parish does not have the required matching funds of approximately $524,000. The Parish’s inability to pass a dedicated road tax may cause the Parish to miss out on the State Capital Outlay funds for roads. When the State offers to pay 75% of the project cost, it allows the Parish to stretch its dollars and get more work done. Unfortunately, funds are limited and may not allow the Parish to capitalize on the State assistance.