OUR VIEW: Beautifying project good for the city

Published 4:31 am Friday, March 15, 2013

Beautification and Bogalusa are not often linked, but credit officials for recognizing the need and being proactive in taking steps to spruce up the city.

Crews are currently in the process of completing a makeover of Louisiana Avenue from Masonic Drive to Memphis Street. Once completed the area will feature a brick walkway, planted seating area and angled parking that will run down the middle of the avenue.

Also planned are benches, tables, expanded green space, an increased number of trees, lighting and a spot for flags and banners, which could be used in any number of ways, including promotions for events ranging from the Washington Parish Fair and the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival to something as modest as a church fair.

The refurbished area has significant potential, whether it’s to be utilized as a de facto gathering space for area workers or simply a spot to take a break and enjoy the serenity of expanded green space in an urban setting.

Mayor Charles Mizell is encouraging area businesses to follow the city’s lead and continue to enhance the area with upgrades of their own. Any refurbishing would be money well spent.

Taken individually a brick walkway will not attract new businesses to Bogalusa, but economic development is the sum of many components, and aesthetics certainly play a significant role.

More important, however, the project should give residents a renewed sense of pride in their community, a message that the city, even through difficult times, is moving forward.

Similar projects appear to be in the works, a welcome sign that the mayor and his staff understand that a grass roots approach is required in urban redevelopment.

Even if it means building a walkway and throwing in a few lights.