Panel adds road work to project

DONALDSONVILLE — The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to add road work to its capital improvement project, increasing the total project by nearly $230,000.

Mark Maher, a project manager with the city-contracted engineering firm GSA Consulting Engineers, said the approved change order to add the projects, which include road repaving jobs and intersection improvements, will increase the city’s contract with R.J. Daigle and Sons Contractors, Inc., to about $2.3 million.

The largest project added was the repaving of the La. 945 loop from Memorial Drive to La. 308, Maher said, with a cost of about $200,000.

Work will include milling, patching, overlaying and re-striping the roadway, as well as adding signage.

With savings of about $190,000 coming from work already completed on the total project, Maher said, funds are currently available in the existing city account to cover adding the projects.

R.J. Daigle and Associates wants to begin the work as soon as Thursday, Maher said. A previously set substantial completion date of April 27 for the total project was not changed.

In other business:

DDD REPORT: Missy Jandura, executive director of the city’s Downtown Development District and Mainstreet Donaldsonville, said in her annual report that her agency worked diligently in 2013 to improve the city’s image.

“I think we’ve finally found our stride,” she said, adding that having a strong board of directors and learning which grants it could reasonably obtain also helped the third-year operation.

The DDD has also bettered its relationship with the state’s Office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Jandura told the council.

Jandura cited her office’s work to promote positive media coverage of the city through social media as well as efforts to support the recently approved sales tax to fund road and sidewalk improvements.

She added that obtaining grants for levee improvements, as well as movie and television filming and popular events such as Stash the Trash and the Avenue Evening Stroll have helped to put Donaldsonville in a better light.

“The public image of this city is truly changing, and I believe the DDD played a role in that,” she said.