Jindal announces construction funding for SWLA

The following is a news release from the Office of the Governor of the State of Louisiana:

BATON ROUGE – The Governor announced today that the administration's capital construction proposal for the next fiscal year (FY 2011), which was submitted to the Legislature, includes funding for several Lake Charles area projects.

Governor Jindal said, "Even in these times of budget challenges, we are continuing to make important investments in Southwest Louisiana. Last year we committed more than $9 million to McNeese State University for renovations and upgrades and this year we're putting $5 million toward a Bulk Grain Elevator and related infrastructure in the region to help spur economic growth and foster more opportunity for folks in Southwest Louisiana."

Lake Charles area projects slated to receive funding in the proposed capital construction bill include:

* $5 million toward planning and construction for the Bulk Grain Elevator, rail spur and related infrastructure in Calcasieu Parish

* $3 million toward right-of-way, utilities, and construction for Common Street improvements in Lake Charles

* $1 million toward campus-wide Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades at McNeese State University and $1 million in Priority 5 future funds for a total investment of $2 million

* $750,000 toward campus-wide elevator repairs at McNeese State University

* $500,000 toward planning for the Northside Industrial Park Rail Spur extension in Sulphur and $630,000 in Priority 5 future funds for a total investment of $1.13 million

* $500,000 toward planning and construction for the Community Recreational Building and Shelter in Deridder

* $275,000 toward planning and construction to overlay a portion of Gaytine Road in Beauregard Parish

The Division of Administration's Office of Facility Planning and Control annually prepares the capital outlay bill, submitting it to the Legislature on the eighth day of the legislative session.

At the start of 2008, Louisiana state government's capital construction program faced an unsustainable $1.465 billion backlog in Priority 5 project commitments – that is, projects that were approved without cash lines of credit but still obligations of the state.

Since then, the Jindal administration has exercised spending restraint and continued to pay down past obligations, bringing the backlog down to around $600 million.