NEWS

Parish to choose planning firm

Wade McIntyre

Representatives of parish government interviewed four companies Wednesday who were vying for selection as Ascension’s Comprehensive Planning Consultant.

Employees of four planning firms, all headquartered outside Ascension Parish, first made presentations to the parish selection committee, then fielded questions. The companies were EDAW, Parsons Brinckeroff, Winston Associates, Inc. and WRT.

The interview sessions held at Lamar-Dixon started at 4:30 and were scheduled to end around 9 p.m.

The selection committee is expected to name the selected firm Friday.

During the question and answer session, each firm was asked questions such as what the firm would suggest for alternative modes of transit for the parish, and is it too late to plan for controlled development in Ascension?

They were also asked how often they would be in the parish to perform consulting work.

Other questions included what is Ascension’s greatest strength and what is its biggest challenge?

The selected firm will advise the parish on how its can use smart growth concepts to address transportation, drainage, construction and flood control issues.

The ultimate master plan will need to have been developed with strong citizen involvement and be supported by the community as a whole, according to the non-profit Center for Planning Excellence that coordinates urban, rural and regional planning strategies in Louisiana.