About 80 residents, many from the Victoria Farms neighborhood off Greenwell Springs Road, packed a public meeting Monday at the Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch Library to discuss parish road and sewer projects.
The Victoria Farms homeowners pressed Department of Public Works officials on what they said were unsafe conditions in their neighborhood, which is bounded by Greenwell Street to the north, Airline Highway to the west, Dickens Drive to the east and Prescott Road to the south.
“We have ditches this high,” said Candy Anderson, putting a hand at her waist during a presentation she gave at the meeting. “Those and the narrow roads are the biggest problems.”
Anderson said residents of the area had presented a petition “maybe three years ago” to the city-parish, but no action has been taken.
The homeowners have asked for sidewalks be put in, she said.
Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards said the narrow streets, deep ditches and lack of sidewalks have been an issue for several years.
“This issue has persisted for five administrations,” she said.
Public Works Director William Daniel said he would take a copy of the group’s presentation to Mayor-President Kip Holden, who had to leave the meeting early for another engagement.
Before departing, Holden spoke to the group about the parish’s infrastructure needs and his administration’s efforts to address them.
Daniel told those attending the meeting that the administration can work with Edwards to see about getting Community Block Development
Grant funds for some of the improvements homeowners in Victoria Farms would like to see done.
The projects could not be added to the Green Light Plan of road improvements because the Green Light Plan is funded by a dedicated tax approved by voters, Daniel said.
“We looked at all projects and tried to figure out what was the most bang for our buck,” Daniel said. “We had a limited amount of money.”
Earlier in the meeting, residents heard presentations about the Green Light Plan and the Sanitary Sewer Overflow project, a federally-mandated project to upgrade thousands of miles of sewer pipe in the parish.
In a change from earlier meetings, after the presentations, displays were set up for each project and residents were able to quiz officials directly.
Ashley Albritton, who lives in Park Forest East, questioned traffic engineer Infolf Partenheimer about the intersection at Greenwell Springs Road
and Cora Drive, where she said two turning lanes, one created for a new apartment complex, were creating unsafe conditions.
Partenheimer referred Albritton to the state Department of Transportation and Development who, he said, have control over Greenwell Springs Road since it is a state highway.
The meeting was the latest in a series of public meetings to discuss the two programs.
At least two more community meetings are planned, but the dates and times have not yet been made public.