The rehabilitation of the area that forms the Texas Street Industrial Corridor got a major boost Tuesday with the announcement from U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of a $17.3 million grant.
The announcement said the grant will provide federal funding to rehabilitate the Texas Street Business Corridor from the Hwy. 1 South Bypass to Washington Street.
Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. was unavailable for comment Tuesday but Director of Community Development Randy LaCaze credited Williams, Community Outreach and Grants Manager Nicole Gray and City Engineer Nick Verret for the majority of the work to secure the grant.
Funding will be used for sidewalks, street lighting, drainage and more infrastructure improvements as part of the Mayor’s plan to serve low income areas in West Natchitoches.
While not directly connected to the grant, the City Council voted to create the Texas Street Economic Development District that will offer tax breaks to businesses operating within that district. That action came at the City Council meeting Monday.
Attorney Michael Busada said the terms of the tax incentives are yet to be determined and will be outlined in another ordinance presented to the City Council.
The City has also allocated $100,000 from the American Rescue Plan for rehabilitation of facades to improve the Texas and Washington Street Corridor. The Texas Street Revitalization and Façade Improvement Program will provide grants up to $8,000 for eligible repairs with business owners paying 25 percent of the total costs. Two grants have been awarded.
According to the City’s website, The Natchitoches Safe Streets Revitalization Project aims to rehabilitate and revitalize the Texas Street Business Corridor and rehabilitate feeder roads and neighborhood streets. The project elements include rehabilitation of roads and drainage facilities, new pavement, new and widened sidewalks, walking paths, marked bike and pedestrian lanes, improved lighting and other amenities that ensure ADA compliance.
The La. Dept. of Transportation and Development has also approved $150,000 for planning and construction of a single-lane roundabout at the intersection of Texas and Dixie streets.
The City plans to move its public works department to Texas Street property it purchased from Barry Guillet for $520,000 in June.