In the latest move toward advancing the revitalization of the Paul Maillard Road area, St. Charles Parish Councilwoman Mary Clulee has gotten approval to set aside $150,000 for a community center.
At the parish’s Oct. 23 budget hearing, the councilwoman got unanimous council support to initiate funding for the project, although the final cost won’t be known until they secure a location. Clulee did say she hoped they could allocate additional funds for the community center next year.
“I am only trying to be proactive to have funds available for any opportunity that may present itself next year or the following year for a community center outreach in the Paul Maillard Road area,” Clulee said. “I feel the concentration of residents there would greatly benefit from such a facility. I currently have no plans in place – and am not aware of any.”
At the hearing, Clulee added that she, as well as other council members, had been approached about a community center for the area as part of the Paul Maillard Corridor Revitalization Plan.
Center funding will be included in the parish’s 2019 budget under Community Services, which has provided centers in areas like Killona and St. Rose.
Efforts are underway toward the plan.
“I feel the concentration of residents there would greatly benefit from such a facility.”- Councilwoman Mary Clulee
In March, Monsanto inked the agreement to donate 11.6 acres of land and $450,000 to the community for a future park site at 1718 Paul Maillard Road. The parish awarded a $9.2 million contract for long-awaited road and drainage upgrades, as well as a public spaces redevelopment phase in the corridor.
Reanda Fields Pierre, chair of the Paul Maillard Community Development Corp., said the community center was not part of Linear Park, but it is a component of the revitalization plan for the area.
The effort to develop the revitalization plan started in 2013 through a HUD Challenge grant and was adopted in December of 2014.
Pierre added the plan calls for creating community space for the public to gather, as well as serve as a catalyst to spark development in the corridor. The community center location could also include a business incubator, which she added would fit the desire to provide “community spaces for multiuse.”
“Our next step is to assess with landowners their interest in participating in developing these spaces,” she said. “We’re seeking technical assistance to determine feasibility of incentive packages to encourage development and, lastly, our goal is to find partners.”