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BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer

The City Of Opelousas is turning to the Opelousas Downtown Development to assist with funding for at least three capital outlay projects.

ODD members discussed but took no action on each of the municipal project requests by the city which include revenues for an Opelousas Museum And Interpretive Center heating and air conditioning unit, City Hall exterior renovations and a municipal gymnasium for South City Park.

CAO Anthony Daniel represented the city administration at the Friday morning meeting.

Former city manager Purvis Morrison, co-owner of M&M Associates, which has been hired by the ODD to represent the District as a state lobbyist, discussed the gymnasium initiative from a remote location.

Museum And Interpretive Center

ODD members reviewed and discussed several proposed bids for replacing the air circulation system at the museum, but no decision was made on funding the project after a lengthy discussion.

Instead ODD members said they are confused about the cost disparity, since bid prices range from $37,500 to $75,000. Instead ODD members voted to have the bids sent back to the city administration for further review.

Museum director Patrice Melnick, who didn’t attend the ODD meeting, has told the Board of Aldermen that the heating and cooling units have outlasted their efficiency. In addition Melnick has said there are additional issues with the duct work which have added to the cost.

Melnick has told the Board on several occasions that if the museum did not have proper ventilation at the building, the humidity will eventually damage some of the items and artifacts there.

City Hall Renovations

Mayor Julius Alsandor and a Board Budget Committee discussed the amount of funding needed to refurbish City Hall, located at the corner of Bellevue and Main streets.

Alsandor told the Committee several months ago that the city is also using grant and capital outlay funding from the state and other sources to assist with renovating the three-story building.

At the committee meeting Alsandor estimated that it could cost as much as $500,000 to complete the entire City Hall project.

On Friday Daniel provided ODD cost requests totaling at least $147,000 for City Hall. The proposed request includes $12,000 for roof repairs, $90,000 for exterior painting and other repairs, $20,000 for first floor windows, $15,000 for exterior signage and $10,000 for mural refurbishment.

Daniel admitted that it might eventually cost more than $12,000 for the roof repair.

Municipal Gymnasium

Morrison explained the city has obtained about $1 million for the cost of the $2.5 million gymnasium building, which when completed, will be placed where the South City Park swimming pool is now located.

The city is hoping, Morrison said, to obtain another $1 million from state capital outlay funding, but that matter could be delayed.

Morrison explained that the Landry administration has indicated to lawmakers that there could be a moratorium on capital outlay projects until those projects can be reviewed.

“We (the city) might have to ask (the ODD) for $500,000 to get moving,” Morrison said.

Author

  • Courtney Jennings

    Courtney Jennings is a contributing writer with St. Landry Now since 2023 covering local events throughout the parish. She also runs the local publication MacaroniKID Acadia-St. Landry, an online publication and weekly e-newsletter on family friendly activities, local events, and community resources for parents.

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