LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - This afternoon, Mayor Nic Hunter held a news conference to talk about some of the ways the city wants to move forward.
Hunter spoke about a number of projects the city will be implementing over the next few weeks. Efforts that include ongoing debris cleanup, identifying damaged and missing street signs, along with a new initiative aimed at getting the entire city involved in the cleanup process.
Over the last five months, contractors have picked up more than 3.6 million cubic yards of debris.
“3.6 million cubic yards over five months compared to 15 years ago with Rita - 1.6 million over 11 months.”
Lake Charles residents should bring hurricane debris to the roadside as soon as possible, city officials say.
Residents may call 337-491-1346 to report debris in need of pickup.
The deadline to have commercial debris at the roadside is Friday, Feb. 12, according to the city.
The mayor also spoke about landmarks like the Capital One Tower and its fate.
“They had insurance on the building, and they are in the process of that insurance claim. Their intent right now is to renovate and revitalize that building. There’s a possibility of some type of reuse with it,” said Hunter.
City employees will be driving around every corner of the city looking for items that need to be addressed following the hurricanes, such as damaged or missing traffic signs or low-hanging utility lines.
”With what we have been through in the last five months, some of us may be saying we have bigger fish to fry,” Hunter said. “We do need to get to a point where those things are addressed, and we need to be at that point right now,” Hunter said.
As an extended effort to clean up the streets, City of Lake Charles Streets Division crews will temporarily add three extra days a week to their street sweeping routes. City crews will also be picking up litter and cleaning up City parks during this time.
“These efforts have been constant since the recent hurricanes, but the City is adding additional resources for this upcoming blitz,” the city said in a statement.
Mayor Hunter also spoke about the city’s overall plan to address affordable housing needs in the future.
“We will be advocating for those community development Block grant dollars. Those will be the next greatest tool that we can use to help with affordable housing and help with economic development. Help with some infrastructure projects here localy. And we will be fighting very hard for that.”
The city is also sponsoring a cleanup effort in March. Click HERE for more on the event.