Feb 16, 2011 7:18 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Hundreds of community leaders gathered today in Lafayette to hear City-Parish President, Joey Durel's, State of the Parish Address. He spoke about the city's many accomplishments.
"We are very fortunate," he said. "We are in a community that is progressive. The economy is doing well, and we are lucky to have the people we have around here to work with."
Even though the area is thriving, he says there's more work to be done.
"The adjudicated properties is one of the most frustrating aspects of my seven years in office," Durel said.
Parish Tax Assessor, Conrad Comeaux, said the parish owns more than one thousand properties, because the former owners failed to pay property taxes. Officials say their goal is to figure out a way to speed up the legal process and cut through the red tape.
Comeaux said, "the idea is to get someone to purchase them from the city-parish government, and then when they do purchase them, they are free and clear of any leans."
Another main focus is to continue developing the area around the Cajundome. Officials are hoping one day every piece of empty land from the Mall of Acadiana to Louisiana Avenue will have some type of business on it.
Greg Gautreux with the Lafayette Consolidated Government Parks and Recreation, said "it's important that it be welcoming and a microcosm of life."
One more major priority, purchasing the old UL horse farm from the university.
Durel said, "100 acres of pristine land, never been built on and turn it into a Central Park."