City officials present Lake Charles recovery plan for 2022

Cargo moving via marine terminals along the Calcasieu Ship Channel
Cargo moving via marine terminals along the Calcasieu Ship Channel(Port of Lake Charles)
Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 10:01 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - As we ring in 2022, the city of Lake Charles is saying goodbye to two years full of natural disasters and are still in full recovery mode. Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter says that road to recovery is very long with a cumbersome FEMA process plus plenty of hurdles left to jump.

“2022 is going to be a big year,” Mayor Hunter said. “I do believe certainly by the end of this year, 95% of our city facilities that the public interacts with are going to be 100% back online. We also believe that housing is making a recovery.”

The city is also ramping up efforts to clean up and that means condemning and demolishing damaged or abandoned properties.

“You will see at every council meeting probably 3 or 4 times the amount of condemnations and demolitions that you would have seen in the past, and by the way, the owners of these properties at these council meetings and ask for more time or explain their situation,” Hunter said.

When it comes to Lake Charles - a landmark seen for miles away still sits in ruin - the Capital One Tower.

“The worst thing is not for the building to be torn down, the worst thing would be for the building to stay in its current state,” Mayor Hunter said. “So as much as it pains me to say it, I would rather see the building torn down than exist in that current state.”

In an effort to entice people off of I-10 and into the city, development on the Lakefront will break ground in the new year.

“2022 is gonna be the year people see it,” Hunter said. “We are going to see Port Wonder under construction on the Lakefront, we are going to see Crying Eagle under construction on the Lakefront, we are going to see the infamous parking garage - the spooky abandoned parking garage, the thorn in the side of Lake Charles for 16, 17 years we are going to see that renovated in 2022 and put back to use.”

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