Learn about Dville's revitalization plans

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie
Louisiana Square in downtown Donaldsonville.

The City of Donaldsonville Downtown Development District (DDD), in partnership with the City Councilmen and Mayor Sullivan, have hosted community town hall meetings in each district in Donaldsonville to discuss revitalization plans and learn about what residents want for the city.

A final wrap-up session, which will include the findings and solicitation of community ambassadors, will be held at 6 p.m. on June 30 at the Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville.

Residents are encouraged to attend and get a look at what’s next as the library welcomes DDD Director Lee E. Melancon, III. Melancon has over 25 years of public relations experience and holds master’s degrees from Louisiana State University. He is a Partner for MPower Group, LLC, a management company serving clients in nonprofit organizations, and is a nationally recognized speaker in higher education and entrepreneurship.

The series of town hall meetings were very successful and the beginning of a much longer process," Melancon said. "Our wrap up meeting is a time for citizens that may have wanted to attend a meeting and missed it or would like to see the results of the first round of town hall feedback.”

Melancon will discuss work the DDD has already done to improve Donaldsonville, as well as upcoming plans for further development. He will also present findings from Town Hall conversations that includedthe community’s desires for targeted businesses, opportunities to improve education and employment, environmental improvements, and other areas such as small business ownership, access to lending, social and mental health, literacy improvement, access to affordable housing, recreation, entertainment, festivals and events, and tourism.

The future of Donaldsonville belongs to each and every resident and participating in a process like this one allows residents to give input and most importantly, get involved,” Melancon said.

While the DDD primarily focuses on the downtown area, Melancon said that the Mayor, City Council, and DDD Commissioners felt it critical to have everyone’s input in order to create a Donaldsonville for all the people with a vibrant and growing downtown that everyone can be proud of and an economy where all can thrive and prosper.

"To me, ideally, Donaldsonville is a place where the diverse cultures of people can come together to create a vision that represents us all, especially our children," Melancon said. "Since Donaldsonville is the second most historic city in Louisiana, only next to New Orleans, it is essential that we preserve our past history which has made us so unique today.

We also, should be reminded that Donaldsonville can do what every small town in Louisiana has done to revitalize old buildings with new businesses, create jobs that are both connected to industry as there are a tremendous amount of opportunities surrounding our city currently, and all of our city, parish, and state leaders are coming together to help us with this initiative to ensure that we don’t miss these opportunities while they are here and presenting us with another chance to make Donaldsonville a great place to visit, live, and retire."

Registration is required, call (225) 473-8052 to reserve a spot. The DDD is also still recruiting committee volunteers who might want to move some of its initiatives forward.