State to hold public flood talks
Published 5:15 am Friday, February 3, 2017
The state Office of Community Development has scheduled a series of public meetings for Louisiana’s regions that were impacted by the historic 2016 floods, including one in Washington Parish. The meetings are free and no reservations are required.
The local meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 13, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., on the second floor of the Washington Parish Courthouse at 908 Washington St. in Franklinton.
The purpose of the meetings is to provide residents an opportunity to view and comment on the flood recovery homeowner, renters and small business assistance programs that were recommended by the state’s Restore Louisiana Task Force, given the federal restrictions that govern how this assistance may be distributed.
Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Office of Community of Development has proposed using the latest appropriation to provide at least some measure of assistance to residents who experienced major or severe damage to their homes and who did not have flood insurance. In addition, the appropriation would fund rental assistance, economic development help for small businesses and farmers, and help for parishes in meeting match requirements for additional assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
After the official public comment period ends Wednesday, Feb. 15, the state will submit the plan on Friday, Feb. 17, to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for final federal approval.
The Office of Community Development is the state agency working with the Restore Louisiana Task Force to coordinate flood-recovery efforts.
Other public meetings are scheduled as follows; all meetings will be live-streamed where possible on restore.la.gov:
- Lafayette Parish — Friday, Feb. 3, immediately following the Restore Louisiana Task Force meeting at the Youngsville Sports Complex Recreation Center at 801 Savoy Road.
- East Baton Rouge Parish — Monday, Feb. 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Magnolia Theater on the Baton Rouge Community College Mid City campus at 201 Community College Drive.
- Lincoln Parish — Thursday, Feb. 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Lincoln Parish Police Jury Conference Room on the third floor at 100 W. Texas Ave. in Ruston.
Residents are also encouraged to sign up for email updates on the recovery effort at restore.la.gov.
The Restore Louisiana Task Force comprises 21 individuals from throughout the state who were appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to oversee the rebuilding process after historic flooding in March and August 2016 impacted 51 parishes. The Task Force’s mission is divided into six categories: community planning, economic, health and social services, housing, infrastructure and natural and cultural resources. All task force documents are available online at restore.la.gov/resources. For more information, visit restore.la.gov.