Home » Louisiana Main Street communities win competitive funding for infrastructure improvements

Louisiana Main Street communities win competitive funding for infrastructure improvements

by Minden Press-Herald

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Main Street, in collaboration with  Louisiana Division of Administration Office of Planning and Budget, multiple state agencies, and a consultant planning team was awarded a U.S. Department of Transportation Thriving Communities Regional Pilot Capacity Builder Program (TCP-R) grant – one of only six nationwide.

The $1.9 million award will go toward building a robust and adaptive technical assistance program to drive infrastructure development for six underserved Main Street communities. The Thriving Communities Program funds tailored technical assistance to under-resourced communities to advance a pipeline of infrastructure projects that will increase mobility, reduce pollution, and expand affordable transportation options, connecting communities to the essential opportunities and resources that will help them thrive.

“We are thrilled to be one of only six projects selected nationally for this award. Our small towns need support, so we are pleased the project team will deliver customized technical assistance and capacity building services. This work will make an immediate impact while also catalyzing more private investment in our downtown districts,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

“Louisiana Main Street is excited to partner with the project team to deliver much-needed services to six designated Main Street communities,” said Ray Scriber, Director of Louisiana Main Street. “This project will help the communities make incremental improvements while working to secure funding for larger projects.”

The six Louisiana Main Street Communities selected to receive targeted assistance based on data indicating greatest need include Franklin, Homer, New Roads, Opelousas, St. Martinville, and Winnsboro. The three-year program includes both catered technical assistance and direct funding for each community.

“Homer is excited to be selected for the DOT Thriving Communities program,” said Jimmy Hand, Main Street Homer Board President. “This is a great opportunity to develop a plan for infrastructure projects that will improve transportation and walkability for our residents, making the Homer Main Street district safer for our citizens.”

Louisiana Main Street has partnered with the Louisiana Office of Planning and Budget, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Louisiana Department of Health, LSU AgCenter, and Louisiana Economic Development to lead and implement this program in the six selected Main Street Communities. State partners are providing over $200,000 in in-kind matched funds, increasing the support available to communities.

Each state agency will work alongside members of the consultant planning team – which includes the Center for Planning ExcellenceGrey Engineering, and Place + Main – to provide programmatic guidance and project development support to the Main Street communities. Members of the consultant planning team will provide community-informed recommendations on economic development, best-practices for transportation planning, and infrastructure improvements.

Presentations, materials, tools, and recorded workshops used in the projects will be accessible to additional Main Street Communities in Louisiana, creating a “Community of Practice” that will facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing, awareness of best practices, and relationship building, and result in long-term increased capacity.

For more information on the Louisiana’s Main Street program visit the Louisiana Main Street webpage.

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