Clean up time

DeRon Talley
Some of the overgrown shrubbery the Louisiana Development Ready City committee and the city is looking to clean around Bayou Lafourche.

The Louisiana Development Ready City committee and other city officials met with the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District last Wednesday to talk about what can be done to clean Bayou Lafourche and the banks of it.

Tammy Dale, member of the LDRC, arranged the meeting to simply discuss what needs to be done to get a project started to make Donaldsonville more attractive.

"We are focusing right now on (Highway) 3089, which is our thruway here and Marchand Drive. We want it to look nice when folks drive through our town. We want it presentable, we want it cleaned up and the bayou is part of what they see when they cross over the bridge right there."

Dale's opening statement opened up the discussion and the other officials all gave feedback and opinion to the Fresh Water District's director and two representatives.

Archie Chaisson, Director of the Fresh Water District, was able to give a lot of advice to the LDRC board and the city on what needed to be done to get a bayou clean up project done. Chaisson assured them that a project could be done with approvals from landowners, the Union Pacific Railroad Company, what specifically do they want cleaned and a plan to maintain the work.

Chairperson for LDRC, Robyn Delaney, said they are willing to get the project rolling and that it is understood what needs to be done to get it going.

"We know where we have to start."

"Our goal is to make sure (the bayou) looks more manicured, because the goal of our committee is to attract more people to our city," Delaney said.

Officials from the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office were part of the discussion too. The Chief of Criminal Operations, Bobby Webre, said the APSO is willing to assign inmates to come out and do what they can to help clean.

Webre also said he thinks currently that the bayou never looked better in the last several years.

"It seems like when I look at the bayou now I see more of it and the banks do look better than they have before."

Chaisson warned the LDRC that it may difficult contacting the railroad representatives about cleaning around the train tracks. Delaney understood there might be logical reasons why some of the shrubbery is around the tracks, but she said they could make it look a lot more attractive then what it is.

"It's an eye soar. It doesn't mess with their train but it messes with our tourists and our city," Delaney said.

"That's what we don't like."

The LDRC's goal is to start the project at the beginning of the year.

"We want to show the citizens of Donaldsonville that we are not just stagnant, we are moving forward," Delaney said.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan added, "Donaldsonville is near and dear to my heart, so we want to make sure we get the bayou cleaned up."