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Photograph: Opelousas Board of Alderman member Delita Rubin Broussard seeks funding for North City Park walking trail. (Photograph by Bobby Ardoin)

Editor/Consulting Writer

There’s money available to help provide recreational repurposing in North City Park and one city elected official wants to secure funding to create a walking trail for residents living in the area.

Opelousas Board of Alderman member Delita Rubin Broussard announced on Tuesday that she is seeking federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration program to help with 80 percent of the costs for the proposed project.

According to an application provided by the FHWA through the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism Office of State Parks, there is currently $1.517 million available through that funding mechanism for recreational initiatives like the one Broussard is requesting for North City Park.

“I’m really excited about this. There is money through this recreational grant and it gives the city a chance to apply for this program. I feel this trail is needed at North City Park and that it gives a  chance for our residents to have better opportunities for recreation,” said Broussard.

The Board has approved the request by Broussard to proceed with submitting the application.

However the confirmation process will probably be prolonged, Broussard said.

One question is whether the city or other revenue streams will be available to provide the other 20 percent of the funding required to complete the project, said Broussard.

There are also the prospective engineering and design studies that need to be completed in order to better describe the scope of the trail project in order to qualify for the funding, Broussard added.

Broussard remains optimistic that if there is no city funding available to complete the funding package for the trail, that the project can still move forward with the assistance of private businesses or what she said are  “in-kind” donations.

There is sufficient land available at North City Park, Broussard said, to accommodate a trail that she thinks could also be lighted, like the 1.5 mile trail which currently snakes through portions of South City Park.