Last Modified: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 10:15 AM
A slow economy, slim funding and even a federal government shutdown hasn’t kept the Lake Charles community development department from searching for ways to continue working in local neighborhoods.
The department used a community forum Tuesday to gather input on the city’s policy toward housing and community development needs. The input will be used in developing the city’s next five-year consolidated plan.
Esther Vincent, director of the department, said finances are the most important aspect of not only the next five-year plan, but the action plans of each year.
“With Congress decreasing funding, we’re trying to do more with little funding,” Vincent said. “Basically, we’re trying to get more bang for our buck.”
The department has felt the strains of working with slimmer finances in many aspects, including the potential decrease in redeveloping local housing. The new twist has been the government shutdown, which has placed a timer on Vincent’s department.
“There are enough finances to run until the end of October,” Vincent said. “That doesn’t mean the money isn’t there; it just means we can no longer operate after that time.”
The public meeting was filled with residents from north Lake Charles. Their concerns ranged from flood zones to the well-being of children living in some of the older and less accommodating homes in the area.
Many residents were concerned about how the department was going to find a way to rejuvenate the north Lake Charles area and when it would happen. City Councilwoman Luvertha August spoke during the meeting and mentioned how it would be a good idea for the City Council to revisit old ordinances to possibly amend them, helping to promote growth in north Lake Charles.
“There was some wonderful input tonight, and that’s what these meetings are all about,” Vincent said. “Residents should know that I’ll be more than glad to come to any meetings they have. They can also call my office and speak with me. We’re also going to be doing more meetings, so I encourage people to come like tonight.”
The city’s five-year consolidated plan has to be available for public viewing by July 2014. The plan has to be finished and submitted by August 2014.
Posted By: PQW On: 10/3/2013
Title: yes, REALLY!
No tax dollars go towards the concerns of my kids and the house they live in so why should any be spent in North Lake Charles? That ivory tower that I live in was purchased through my hard work. Not from hand outs from the government.
Posted By: Doug On: 10/2/2013
Title: Oh Really??
Sounds like you live in one of the ivory towers of South Lake Charles where all the tax money and gambling money development is headed, and has been for quite some time now. So, easy for you to say.
Posted By: PQW On: 10/2/2013
Title: Something got left out here!
What are the people that live there going to do? Sounds like they are waiting on the government to do everything
"Their concerns ranged from flood zones to the well-being of children living in some of the older and less accommodating homes in the area."
The government did not put those kids in those houses so why should tax dollars be used to worry about that? Sounds like an issue for mom and dad to take care of.