Donaldsonville officials address concerns about Crescent Park


City officials went on the the record Tuesday night to answer questions from the community about the renovation project ongoing at Crescent Park.

Councilman Emile Spano brought forth several questions he has received since the construction work began.

Residents have noticed trees and structures removed from the site, which sits across from the Mississippi River levee, prompting the concerns.

During Tuesday's meeting at City Hall, Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. addressed the list of questions.

The project has been in the works over the last three years.

State Sen. Troy Brown assisted the city in receiving $870,000 in capital outlay funding.

Sullivan said Crescent Park always has been part of the overall master plan to renovate the riverfront area and make it more attractive.

At least two town-hall meetings for community input on the park were held, the mayor stated.

Following the meetings, SJB Group architects drafted a rendering of the park.

Sullivan recalled that the ideas were presented to the local Rotary Club during a meeting.

In August 2014, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the park.

"It was on the news," Sullivan said. "We had elected officials there. Everyone who was somebody basically was out there."

According to a news article at the time, the mayor was quoted as saying the park plan had been "10 years in the making," and he was glad to finally see it come to fruition.

Sullivan went on to say that the columns will match those in Louisiana Square, located along Railroad Avenue in front of the Ascension Parish Courthouse.

The overall plan is to eventually connect Louisiana Square with Crescent Park and the riverfront levee top.

Concerning the fencing, the mayor said some was good enough to salvage, but other parts were not.

In the new park, a fence will surround the front. The back side will have chains to enclose the park.

Concerning the trees, Sullivan said the ones cut down were water oaks, which have a "very short life expectancy."

He added that the trees are said to take 20 years to grow, and another 20 years to die.

The branches of the trees were causing problems, as well.

He emphasized that no live oak trees were cut.

A black circle at the entrance will have the city's logo in the paving.

Once again, the mayor reiterated that the city was required to hold public hearings, which it did.

"When completed, I think people in the community will be pleased," Sullivan said.

Why renovate a historic park?

"We couldnt' let it deteriorate," the mayor said.

Lighting fixtures were going out, and needed to be replaced with industrial-grade material.

Sullivan concluded by saying the work is scheduled for 190 days.

"We want to make sure it's completed for July 3rd," he said, referring to the city's annual fireworks event in the park.

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