City officials disagree with projected population loss report

By Charlie Bartlett - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A new report projects Lake Charles stands to be among the top ten metro areas in the U.S. to lose population between now and the year 2025.  Mayor Randy Roach believes the report released by the Houston Business Journal failed to focus on the economic growth and he says we shouldn't ignore it.

"It's something that you need to be aware of. You need to be conscious of the projections based on historic growth date and future growth data," said Mayor Randy Roach.

It's not just Lake Charles. Other cities close to the lake area are expected to drop in the national population standings too.

"Shreveport, Monroe, Houma and Beaumont are projected to have a significant drop in population. You have to look at the report not just what it does for Lake Charles but the whole area is affected by this underlying assumption."

The report analyzed the top two-hundred and fifty metropolitan area growth patterns. According to their projections, Lake Charles will drop from the 207th position to 249th. Mayor Randy Roach has other plans

"Our resolve is to make sure that doesn't happen. That's why we are doing lakefront development, supporting the Shaw project, and the Sugar Cane Bay project to make sure we reverse any type of statistics that may have existed over the last ten years.  We need to make sure we do our part to keep that from happening," said Roach.

They're operating on an "if you build it they will come" idea.  Mayor Roach says it's really about creating a community where people want to live.

"We want to make sure that people live here, enjoy living here and the people looking at where to go, they can look at this community as a progressive community and a good place to live.

Work continues to make the Lake Charles more appealing and ultimately breaking the projected equation.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)