$8 million requested for parish

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 19, 2010

VIDALIA — When the U.S. Senate takes up the issue of the national budget this fall, several funding items for Concordia Parish will be listed for consideration.

Sen. Mary Landrieu has placed appropriations requests for the City of Vidalia, funding for a drainage study on Cocodrie Bayou and for a Ferriday-area project for the Louisiana Department of Transportation project.

The appropriation request for the City of Vidalia was an $8 million request to continue construction of an access road for the slack water port project on the Mississippi River.

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The item request says the project “is in the interest of taxpayers because it improves the efficiency of the transportation system in Louisiana, reduces environmental impacts, reduces the need for costly future public infrastructure investments, and ensures efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade.”

The appropriation request for the study on Cocodrie Bayou, which is included in the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill, will be to get a drainage flow study on the bayou to help prevent future flooding issues, Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District Director Heather Malone said.

The request for department of transportation in the Ferriday area is a $5 million request to widen U.S. 84 from its intersection with Louisiana 129 to its junction with U.S. 65.

Malone said she thinks the area will receive a portion of each appropriation request, but not necessarily the entire thing.

“Sen. Landrieu has been a strong advocate for all projects in our area, and I don’t think she would have suggested the projects if she didn’t believe in them,” Malone said. “Last year we applied for more and we got a piece of it, but every little piece helps.”

Officials in the area should get the word about whether or not they will receive their appropriation request in October.

Malone said.