Options to fund traffic work eyed

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said Thursday that he will bring to the Parish Council next week plans on how to fund traffic projects in unincorporated parts of the parish.

The move came following the overwhelming defeat of a proposed sales tax last month aimed at funding such projects.

During a brief, sparsely attended council meeting Thursday, the council officially canvassed the results of the Nov. 6 ballot issue.

A total of 16,743 voters were in favor of the 25-year, half-cent sales tax proposition, Council Vice Chairman Benny Johnson said. However, 22,138 voters cast ballots against the measure.

“Unfortunately, it failed, so now we’re going to have to take some measures,” Martinez said. “We’ll have to tighten our belts and see where we are headed in the future.”

Funds from the proposed tax would have been earmarked for traffic improvements on state and local roads throughout unincorporated areas of the parish.

While not going into detail Thursday, Martinez said that he would begin to bring such recommendations to the council’s Transportation Committee meeting on Tuesday.

“We are working on certain plans for certain solutions that we’re going to have to come up with to help fund the regular maintenance of our roads,” Martinez told the council. “There are some things we can’t continue to do with current funding. Hopefully, you’ll understand where we’re at in the whole process.”