Arceneaux sees smooth transition to Phase One

Scott J. Anderson
Anthony Keller, central services director for the City of Gonzales, points out some of the social distancing measures in place at City Hall.
(Submitted photo)

Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux is excited to see signs of life across the city since the state moved to Phase One late last week.

"We've got some stores opening at Tanger Outlets, and restaurants across the city did open," Arceneaux said. "Things are going very good. We are happy about that. We're glad to give our citizens a little more activity."

On May 15, Gov. John Bel Edwards lifted his Stay-at-Home order and formally moved Louisiana into Phase One of its Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana. That day, more businesses were allowed to open with strict social distancing, enhanced sanitation and required masks for employees helping the public.

Arceneaux said he has not received any negative comments regarding the transition to Phase One. "There might have been a hiccup here or there, nut nothing major," Arceneaux said.

Not even Mother Nature could rain on this celebration, he said. When a storm system dropped several inches of rain in the area the night before the order was lifted, crews had to barricade a few roads for high water, Arceneaux said, but there was no significant issues.

Arceneaux said he is pleased to see stores at Tanger Outlets and Cornerview Plaza begin to reopen. Many of the local store managers were waiting on confirmation from their corporate offices to begin reopening. Once Edwards' declaration went out last week, that satisfied many of those corporate officials, Arceneaux said.

Scot Byrd, chief administrative officer for the city, said some stores had to delay reopening in order to comply with the governor's Phase One guideline.

"Some had to do a reset to create social distancing spacing," Byrd said. "Some are training their employees. In order to open safely there is a little delay. Some may not be open yet, but they are actively working on it".

Arceneaux said Tanger Outlets has a list of stores that are open on its website.

As for City Hall, Arceneaux said everything went smoothly when it reopened Monday.

"That went very well," he said. "I asked our office manager, and he said we had about 40 people come through. All went well. No problems. Everyone is following the protocols."

Arceneaux said folowing the protocols is the key to moving forward. He is in communication regularly with other local officials to see that everyone is working together.

"We're going to continue to watch what the governor has to say," he said. "We will wait for June 5 to see if we can move into Phase Two. We plan to follow all the protocols for Phase One. I talk to my fellow mayors, the sheriff (Bobby Webre) and the parish president (Clint Cointment) so we stay as united as we can. Here in Ascension, our goal is to work together."