Apr 9, 2013 11:16 PM by KATC
If all goes according to plan, the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization will see its membership double and its area of influence grow to encompass portions of several neighboring parishes, most notably in Iberia Parish.
The MPO is a federally funded body that plans, programs and coordinates federal highway and transit funds. Currently, it consists of the members of the Lafayette Consolidated Government council, but urban population growth as counted in the 2010 Census will offer several outlying areas, primarily the city of New Iberia, the opportunity to join the MPO and share in federal funds for roadways, bike paths, traffic planning and myriad other projects.
MPO Chairman Mike Hollier gave a briefing to the LCG council Tuesday evening to explain the proposed growth. Under Hollier's plan, the board would grow to 18 seats, adding two members from the city of New Iberia, two from St. Martin Parish, one from Iberia Parish, one state of Louisiana member, and one member to represent portions of Acadia, St. Landry and Vermilion parishes.
The new organization would cost somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 per year, to be paid on a per capita basis by the participating municipalities. Those municipalities would have the chance to share in up to $10 million in federal funds.
If all goes according to plan, the new organization should be in place by the end of the year.