Eunice, other St. Landry towns plan for future
St. Landry Economic Development is helping community leaders in Eunice create a strategic plan that will focus on opportunities for increased employment, meeting infrastructure needs, capitalizing on the community’s cultural economy, and providing for smart growth as the city moves forward.
Community development is central to the overall parish development effort, according to executive director Bill Rodier. He points out that the strategic development plan for St. Landry Parish identifies “building strong and resilient local communities” as one of its most important aspects.
He ranks community development and helping local businesses grow as “some of the most important work that we do,” pointing out that the agency has been involved in “multiple planning efforts and initiatives” in towns and cities across the parish.
In Eunice, Mayor Scott Fontenot has set in motion an effort to develop a new strategic plan building upon one that was developed in 2010, but that was not put into motion. The new plan may include creation of a downtown development district, according to the mayor.
The process of updating the plan began with what was called a “listening” session in October 2018 at Acadian Medical Center attended by more than 70 people. Since then there have been discussions about economic development, education and infrastructure.
Substantive discussion, focusing largely on quality of life issues, continued in February. The conversation ranged from leadership development to recreation and communications.
Goals discussed for the Eunice plan include:
- Promotion of a business-friendly environment to diversify and grow the economic base.
- Support of existing businesses, attraction of new ones, and capitalization on the cultural economy to create job opportunities for an educated, ready workforce.
- Embracing LSU Eunice as the statewide leader in two-year universities.
- Increasing access to advanced education, workforce development, and job training opportunities.
- Improving the quality of K-12 education.
- Providing a well-maintained infrastructure that is clean, safe, and supports the city’s current and future needs.
- Maintaining a beautiful and unique community, with a strong sense of belonging and a high quality of life.
Rodier noted that Eunice and communities across the parish “are beginning to take a hard look at their potential and to find innovative ways to move forward. Our job is to help each community identify its needs and potential and to help them create an achievable vision for the future.”
In addition to the efforts in Eunice, he noted, St. Landry Economic Development has been instrumental in creating a revitalized downtown district in Opelousas, helping communities such as Sunset, Grand Coteau, and Arnaudville to prioritize development projects and find the means to implement them, to capitalize on industrial opportunities such as those in Port Barre and Krotz Springs, and in creating a Midway Corridor Plan that will bring new opportunities to Washington and other communities in the heart of St. Landry Parish.
“Strong communities make a strong parish,” he said. “Vital cities, towns, and communities are integral to maintaining economic growth and at the same time preserving the quality of life that we all want and enjoy.”
Three things to know about this story:
- Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot has set in motion an effort to develop a new strategic plan building upon a one that was developed in 2010.
- St. Landry Economic Development is helping Eunice leaders create the plan,
- The strategic development plan for all of St. Landry Parish identifies “building strong and resilient local communities” as one of its most important aspects.
Eunice, LA 70535