What progress has been made on the $90 million bond approved in 2006?

What progress has been made on the $90 million bond approved in 2006?
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A $90 million bond issue was voted and approved by Lake Charles residents back in 2006.

The money was set to go towards multiple roads, recreation, and downtown development projects.

Now nearly 12 years later, what progress has been made with that money?

"When you look at some of the roadways that were done, some of the improvements that we were having traffic congestion on, those roadways are done today because of this bond issue," said city administrator John Cardone.

New roads, water and sewer extensions, and downtown development are just some of the projects covered by the $90 million bond.

"The City of Lake Charles, for the most part, was a pay as you go (city), and what we found out is we don't really have enough money in our coffers to make it work for all of our projects on pay as you go," said Cardone.

The 20-year bond was approved by voters in 2006. So 12 years later, what changes were made with that money?

$31.5 million went towards five roadway projects, $18 million for downtown development, $16 million for sewer, another $15 million for state routes, and three million for recreation projects.

Out of that $31.5 million for road projects, $12.5 million funded the Enterprise Extension Boulevard, $8 million went to Sale Street and $6 million for Lake Street. The East McNeese Street extension cost $3 million, and the Power Center Parkway extension cost $2 million.

Along with these street projects, that money was put to use along the Lake Front Promenade, down Ryan Street, and improved multiple parks within the city.

"It moved some of these projects along much quicker," said Cardone.

Cardone says so far the city has used the majority of the money.

The construction seen on Lake Street will take $2.3 million, and what's left of the bond money will also be used for economic development.

With this being the city's first bond issue, Cardone believes it was a good decision to make.

"It's better to go ahead and occur the debt," he said. "It's not a bad thing as long as they are real projects, and it can help with traffic capacity and moving traffic along and these major water and sewer improvements, but we think this bond issue was very worthwhile.

Cardone says the bond will be paid off by 2027, and that the rest of the money is expected to be used by the end of the year.

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