Future of funding

October 28, 2017

A meeting with Gov. John Bel Edwards has Iberia Parish President M. Larry Richard optimistic about the future of funding for an access road and roundabout near the Acadiana Regional Airport.

• Richard met with Edwards on Oct. 19 to discuss a capital outlay request for approximately $4 million for the five-lane access road and roundabout at Louisiana 3212. After about 10 to 15 minutes of discussion, Richard was joined by Iberia Parish Chief Administration Officer Scott Saunier, Iberia Parish Council Chair Natalie Broussard and Iberia Industrial Development Director Mike Tarantino.

The meeting, which took place at the governor’s mansion, mostly revolved around funding for the project, which was removed from the capital outlay list in 2016.

“We were assured by the governor that he’s on board with the project. However, its approval will depend a lot on the state’s fiscal cliff situation,” Richard said.

• The Louisiana Workforce Development and South Louisiana Community College, along with parish presidents in the region, put together a first of its kind workforce collaboration for Acadiana parishes.

Through a competitive selection process, SLCC was chosen to serve as a one-stop operator and career

service provider for the Local Workforce Development Area. The effort will include training options, resume writing and job placements for those interested. Business developers will reach out to business partners and build relationships, as well as assist with job postings.

Richard said the centers will help unemployed residents, displaced workers and at-risk youth in the service area. Iberia Parish will be putting on an open house in November, with a date to be determined.

• Iberia Parish Government is working with St. Mary Parish Government, along with the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Teche Grower’s Association, to create a Litter Abatement Program in Iberia Parish. The program will aid in eliminating the amount of litter on streets and help to beautify Iberia Parish, according to Richard.

“The way it’s going to work is we’re going to use people that the District Attorney’s Office has deemed able to do community service,” Richard said. “It’s a collaboration we’re doing similar to kind being done in St. Mary Parish.”

• Iberia Parish, the city of New Iberia and United Way of Iberia are working together on a collaborative effort to mitigate local homelessness. The effort started in March to address the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the parish. The goal of the group is the eventual end of homelessness in Iberia.

Also involved in the effort is the Iberia Homeless Shelter, New Iberia City Council members, Iberia Comprehensive Health Center, Acadiana Regional Homeless Coalition, Iberia Medical Center, city and parish public housing authorities, St. Francis Diner, 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Chez Hope, the Iberia Ministerial Association and several others.

• DOTD recently completed checking of postings for each bridge in Iberia Parish with the current posting status of each bridge. Final inspections were finished Tuesday, when it was determined that all bridge postings are in compliance with the specified postings.