Lafayette financing authority agrees to fund $30,000 toward urban developer’s salary

The Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority agreed Tuesday to allocate $30,000 to the Downtown Development Authority to fund part of an urban designer’s salary.

The proposal to pay designer Geoff Dyer was whittled from three years to one year by LPTFA officials. The plan includes an option to keep Dyer on the payroll from year to year.

“Last year, when we assessed where our organization was headed, it was clear that we needed one of the nation’s top urban designers to come here to fast forward that transformation in creating high-quality city living,” said DDA executive director Nathan Norris, addressing the four-member board of LPTFA trustees.

Dyer, a Calgary, Canada-based urban design consultant who moved to Lafayette last year to take the job, helped develop projects such as the Johnston Street Horse Farm and the Jefferson Street Parklet, a small area of outdoor tables and chairs.

Norris said Dyer also had a role in creating the Downtown Lafayette Action Plan, unveiled this past spring, which outlines how to grow Lafayette’s downtown.

“I can tell you that over this past year, Geoff has done an outstanding job,” Norris said.

Norris said Dyer will continue to plan and create more spaces for city living, which he said is something Lafayette lacks.

“We’re thrilled to be able to get Geoff here. We’re thrilled to work with him,” Norris said.

In Dyer’s first year in Lafayette, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority gave the DDA funds to help bring Dyer to Lafayette. Norris said LEDA will continue to help fund the efforts.

Norris said there are plans to include Dyer in efforts to install welcome signs for visitors entering Lafayette. He also said the DDA is working with the designer to further develop Bertrand Drive. So far, Norris said, the DDA has raised $48,000 for the signs.