LSU students to have input on Blevins building
Just when the parish is in the midst of redesigning the upper floors of the Blevins building in Franklin for courthouse expansion use, a group of LSU students will add their input.
Judith Allain of the Franklin Historic District invited members of the St. Mary Parish Council to come see ideas created by interior design students in the CCELL program at Louisiana State.
She said CCELL — the Center for Community Engagement, Learning & Leadership — is a service-learning program in which students partner with communities to address real world concerns.
They will present their design concepts Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lamppost on adaptive uses of the upper floors of the parish owned Blevins building.
The parish has earmarked almost $900,000 in capital improvement funds for the upper floors of the building on Main Street at Willow. It currently houses the state unemployment office and St. Mary Chamber of Commerce on the first floor. The improvement project is currently in the design phase, according to earlier reports by parish President Paul Naquin.
Allain reminded the council that a previous CCELL project in 2009 focused on the former U.S. Post Office and the Center Theater.
“Their projects range from highly creative out of the world to the well organized and plausible,” she said. “Because of LSU’s CCELL program, we’re able to get a lot of ides and it costs us nothing, except the (students) time and effort.”
She concluded by inviting the council members to attend the presentations on Thursday.
In other business during the regular session Wednesday the council:
—Approved resolutions on an amendment to the cooperative endeavor agreement with the state Department of Economic Development; a grant application to the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program; change orders on the taxiway lights and signage rehab project at Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport, and on Phase 1, Stage 2 of the expansion project at the Harold J. “Babe” Landry Landfill.
—Approved funding transfer requests by Councilman David Hangriff, District 3, from the Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 10 three-tenths sales tax collections in the amounts of $1,500 to the Town of Baldwin for Baldwin Little League and $1,000 to St. Mary Landmarks; and Ken Singleton, District 5, in the amount of $10,000 to the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department for purchase of communication equipment.
—Referred to the budget finance committee a request to reinstate funding assistance to the St. Mary Soil and Water Conservation District; and an issue dealing with funding of the state mandated 16th Judicial District Children and Youth Planning Board. The board has notified the parish that it no longer has funds to retain its administrative director and therefore has suspended operation. State funding for the board ended in 2009 “and the board requested contributions from the various stakeholders throughout the judicial district including parish governments, the district attorney, the district judges, parish school boards as well as city and town governments,” the notification reads. “Some of these entities have pledged support and others have not done so formally. The board also sought grants and funding from other sources.” The notification further reads that $70,000 in reimbursements is owed to the St. Martin Parish government which over the director’s employment in behalf of the district attorney’s office as fiscal agent of the board.
—Reappointed Ovay Rogers to the Hospital Service District 3 board of commissioners.
At-large Councilman Kevin Voisin, District 11, was absent.