Central Speaks with the Mayor

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An Interview with Mayor Watts

What are the current plans for Economic Development efforts in Central?

    As you know, our Economic Development consultant, Steve Vassallo, came up as the top candidate in a nationwide search and has been hired full time by Terrebonne Parish.  I am now going through a search process to see whom Central might attract to fill that position, but our efforts in Economic Development will not be interrupted.  As your Mayor, I am going to continue to promote Central and will see that our grass roots efforts in Smart Growth will continue.  We have a citizen-led effort implementing the Louisiana Development Ready Communities program to identify the desired direction and pace of growth in Central.  The Central Economic Development Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce are continuing their efforts on behalf of the people and businesses of Central.  Finally, I will be attending the Louisiana Municipal Association conference and will have opportunities to meet with Mayors and Community Development specialists from around Louisiana and see what initiatives are meeting with success in their communities.


What other plans are on the drawing board for Central in the near future?

    I have met with Councilman Messina and encouraged him to move forward with further involving the public in the consideration of electing our City Council by Districts.  I now understand that he is in the process of planning public meetings.  Please make your plans to attend these and to voice your opinions.

    These next items are very preliminary, but I would like to share a couple of possibilities that may emerge in the near future.  We are actively pursuing a grant opportunity which could result in the addition of sidewalks from the corner of Sullivan and Hooper all the way to the new school complex, and from Walmart, along in front of the High School, and all the way to Biltmore Subdivision near Demco.  These sidewalks would increase safety along the roads near our schools and make it easier for those students who do walk to school.

    Central has also applied, several years ago, for $1.5 million in capital outlay money from the state of Louisiana which could be used to fund the building of a City Hall.  There are no firm plans and these funds may take several more years to be awarded, if at all.  My vision for Central would be an “Old Town” feel with buildings styled after turn of the century homes and businesses, with plenty of green space and maybe a pond or a lake.  I am hopeful that our “City Center” can be a community gathering place and a park in addition to serving the needs of city government.  There will be plenty of opportunity for the public to help plan such an area should this grant become a reality, but I wanted to share this exciting possibility.

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