The Ascension Parish Council received good news about road work from Chief Administrative Officer Cedric Grant at the regular meeting Thursday.

Grant said all of the parish priorities for road work are now also in the state priority program for the first time since as far back as he can remember.

 


The Ascension Parish Council received good news about road work from Chief Administrative Officer Cedric Grant at the regular meeting Thursday.


Grant said all of the parish priorities for road work are now also in the state priority program for the first time since as far back as he can remember.


The included roads are Hwy. 934, Hwy. 73, the Amite River bridge on Hwy. 42 in Port Vincent,  and Hwy. 429.


The $21.9 million in parish road work jobs  will start in January, according to Grant.
Grant said very rarely has he seen this much parish work come out of the Department of Transportation and Development at one time. “This is very good news.”


Grant credited the parish legislative delegation with pushing to bring about the approved highway improvement projects.


Absent from the priority list is big ticket item Hwy. 42, the roadway in Prairieville with a notorious reputation for traffic deaths and fatalities, but Parish President Tommy Martinez said he would continue pushing for prioritization of that project.


Martinez said the project should be a priority of state and federal government as well as the parish.


In an unrelated business matter, the council approved creation of a new Mixed Use 2 Zoning designation geared toward small scale residential developments.


Planning Director Ricky Compton said the designation will allow commercial development in the areas surrounding predominantly residential areas, but with the commercial areas retaining the character of the neighborhoods.


In another matter, the council approved the following appointments: Brent Smith and Charles Hebert to Fire Protection District 1; Adrienne Conish and William Liehe to  the Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals.


Council members also approved a request by Assistant District Attorney and 23rd Judicial District Attorney-elect Ricky Babin to increase the monthly rent increase allotment for the District Attorney’s office in Gonzales from $4,500 to $5,761.


Babin said the Gonzales site is the largest office in the district, housing 25 employees.
The office needs bigger facilities to house  staff and conduct the thousands of drug tests performed there each year, according to Babin.


Martinez and the council also honored 8-term Mayor Johnny Berthelot of Gonzales by declaring Dec. 18 “Mayor Johnny Berthelot Day in Ascension Parish.”