We're hearing from St. Landry parish president Jessie Bellard about the state of the parish.
In his presentation at the Delta Grand Theater in downtown Opelousas, the parish president addressed accomplishments, but also work that still needs to be done.
One area parish president Jessie Bellard says needs improving is broadband access.
He plans to use some of the $50 million in the American Rescue Act Funds for a broadband initiative.
"Allen Cable is coming in on the east side of I-49, LUS is going to be on the west side of I-49. They'll come into the parish and start taking care of the rural areas of our parish. In the next 3 or 4 years, we should be able to have everybody with some type of internet system no matter where you live in the parish,” Jessie Bellard.
Over the past year, the parish has added 27 new culverts to help improve drainage and a study is underway to determine more improvements.
"We need to know where the water is coming from and why the water is coming to us and we want to get it away from us as fast as we can. We're being told that once the study is done, the next phase is to get the money to come in and start doing an actual drainage program,” Bellard added.
Next, an expanded parish jail.
According to Bellard, the parish spends $11,000 per month to house inmates outside of the parish.
With American Rescue funds, they plan to spend $5 million on expanding the jail.
"The expansion of that jail is going to allow us to take in another hundred inmates back into the parish and house them at our place,” said Bellard.
Bellard plans to host the address every year to continue to be transparent with the community.
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