Donaldsonville getting state dollars to improve riverfront

The City Council has approved two line-item issues for next year’s budget, both aimed at improving the city’s image.

One item will bring $780,000 in state funding to the city for use with its plan to renovate Donaldsonville’s Mississippi riverfront.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. said during Tuesday’s council meeting that the funds, originally directed to a water well project in Port Allen, were obtained by state Sen. Troy Brown, D-Napoleonville.

“Port Allen finished their project and did not need those funds,” Sullivan said. “So, Sen. Brown was able to secure the funds for Donaldsonville’s riverfront development.”

The city is looking to improve its riverfront area, already having paved a section of the riverfront and added lighting and benches. Future plans could possibly include retail shopping, entertainment venues and a riverboat docking area, among other proposals.

A large portion of the approved funds will be used for improvements to nearby Crescent Park, Sullivan said.

The second budget addition pertains to a $200,000 state government appropriation, which will be divvied up among local culture and tourism initiatives.

Funds from the appropriation come from hotel/motel tax collections in Ascension Parish. By law, the dollars are required to be spent on projects and services related to the city’s culture and tourism.

The projects and services in line to share in the $200,000 include the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, River Road African American Museum, the Downtown Development District, Chamber of Commerce and its Louisiana Development Ready Communities Committee, the July 3 fireworks celebration, the city’s levee topping project, Christmas decorations, street lights and signs.

Other items coming before the council included:

INDUSTRIAL BOARD: Ted Dubis, a member of the city’s Industrial Development Board, asked councilmen to nominate three individuals to fill vacancies on the panel.

Dubis said the seven-member board is having difficulty obtaining quorums for its meetings with three open seats.

The council previously reduced the board’s membership from nine to seven members to address the same issue, Dubis said.