GO Group comprises task forces, committees

Who are the members of the Calcasieu alliance that have the job of bridging the gap between parish economic growth and the lagging infrastructure, and do they put out a progress report periodically?

The group, created four years ago, is called the Southwest Louisiana Task Force for Growth and Opportunity, or GO Group.

It was formed by community and political leaders “to identify and address the various socioeconomic issues involved with the planned economic development projects” in the region, said Karen Clapp, GO Group director.

“The goal of this strategic planning process is to ensure that Southwest Louisiana emerges from the planned growth and development stronger, smarter and more diversified than before,” Clapp said in a statement.

“Moreover, the GO Group works to position local communities to take advantage of the economic and social benefits associated with the implementation of these projects.”

GO Group participants:

  • Calcasieu Parish Police Jury
  • Cameron Parish Police Jury
  • Lake Charles
  • Sulphur
  • Westlake
  • DeQuincy
  • Vinton
  • Iowa, La.
  • McNeese State University
  • Sowela Technical Community College
  • Calcasieu Parish School Board
  • Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance
  • West Calcasieu Chamber of Commerce
  • Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • Port of Lake Charles
  • Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission

Clapp said the group includes “several subcommittees and task forces” — with the former offering advice and the latter promoting action.

She provided the following list of task force and subcommittee accomplishments:

 “The GO Group’s Education & Workforce Development Task Force worked with the Calcasieu Parish School Board to consider Educational Facilities Master Planning. The school board solicited bids for the project; however, they voted to table the issue in September 2016.”

 “The GO Group’s Public Service Improvements Task Force assisted the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury in its drainage initiative by facilitating community and stakeholder input meetings. The group still provides support and advocacy for new drainage policy in Calcasieu Parish.”

 “The GO Group’s Growth Planning Task Force successfully advocated for match dollars from the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury for the I-210 bridge construction traffic impact analysis. The group helped secure funding in the amount of $25,000 to support the project.”

 “The GO Group’s Public Safety Subcommittee worked to develop a mechanism by which residents can receive weekly traffic situation reports detailing road construction, closures, etc. The Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness distributes the report on a weekly basis.”

 “The GO Group’s Housing Subcommittee is working with the City of Lake Charles and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury on the area’s affordable housing need. The agencies entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement allowing the hiring of an outside firm to identify ways to increase affordable housing inventory in the area, and work toward doing so.”

 “The GO Group linked Louisiana Cancer Prevention with local groups to help fund a workshop on Complete Streets. The workshop educated local leaders and community stakeholders on the complete streets concept and the steps needed to make complete streets a reality in the area.”

 “The GO Group’s Public Service Improvements Task Force facilitated conversations with local agency heads regarding the feasibility of regional water and sewer in the area.”

Clapp said the GO Group offers updates via its Facebook page.

www.gogroupswla.com.

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