CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Drainage, quality of life, and a cleaner environment are some of the important issues to citizens who responded to a survey by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. As a result police jurors have identified six priority focus areas for the future.
The planning survey shows top citizen concerns deal with infrastructure needs due to growth.
Calcasieu Administrator Bryan Beam says the extension of Coach Williams Drive from Old Spanish Trail to Houston River Road is one upcoming improvement.
"The Sasol Project forced us to close a road that was needed there but we are now going to replace it with the connector road and that is going to be about an $18 million project that will help the Mossville area, West Calcasieu in general," said Beam.
And drainage, drainage, drainage. Beam says detention ponds will help existing street flooding in some areas.
"In the Louisiana area in Lake Charles, that is probably a $5 to $8 million project that will be tremendous help once it's completed for existing residents. You also have in the west side Bayou D'Inde area, we're looking at a detention pond project for that area, still in the early phases," he said.
"In 2018 this is the first year we've budgeted a lot more money than we have in the past, in the neighborhood of about $17 million. We're going to try to sustain it at that level for many years, so you'll start seeing, the public will, over the next two to three years, some significant projects completed that should give a lot of immediate relief," said Beam.
He says reducing litter and pollution is also important.
"The litter problem in our parish is big. It's kind of an embarrassment. People are strongly saying more needs to be done about that. The litter reduction is going to have to be something we do public awareness campaigns, law enforcement," said Beam.
Those who want to do their part by recycling some items can bring them to drop off sites in Lake Charles and Sulphur.
As well as improving water quality in streams, bayous, lakes and rivers is a concern.
"You can set and enforce things when people are constructing homes and businesses for example to make sure that things don't go in the water that shouldn't. And, of course wastewater treatment, littering the river, things like that. We are able to try to prevent that. It's going to take a lot of partnership. People being aware of what they put down the drain and throw out when they're out on the water," he said.
"Having more community sewer systems instead of just individual mechanical systems at homes, that has helped a lot in the last few years," he said.
Beam says parish departments will continue working on detailed goals in line with police jury and public priorities identified in the survey.