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Louisiana association honors cities' thriving programs and projects.

The Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) announced the winners of its 2006 Community Achievement Awards at a banquet during its 69th annual convention, held Aug. 10-12 at the RiverCenter in Baton Rouge, La.

In addition to LMA, the awards program is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association.

The purpose of the Community Achievement Awards is to recognize municipalities for outstanding accomplishments in basic services, community development and economic development. The winners were selected within four population categories except for the Best of Show Award.

The following list shows the Louisiana cities that either won Community Achievement Awards or received honorable mentions

Best of Show

The City of Plaquemine won the Best of Show Award for a restoration project, which started in 1993, that improved the environmental and aesthetic conditions of a bayou. This helped to establish a waterfront park for public use.

The project spurred unprecedented growth in the city, which is now witnessing the construction of a new hotel, development of new subdivisions and an increase in new downtown projects.

Population Under 3,000

Basic Services Winner: The Town of Slaughter won for purchasing a new service unit for the town's volunteer fire department. The unit was built using fire and emergency medical service standards, and no debt was incurred.

Honorable mentions went to the Town of Greenwood for its water/wastewater system expansion project, and the Town of Haughton for its new fire station facility.

Community Development Winner: The Town of Lecompte won for its Lecompte Recreational Park, which is a safe place for youth and family-oriented activities, and was built on land obtained from the Rock Island Railroad Company.

Honorable mentions went to the Town of Many for its sidewalk enhancement project, and the Town of Iowa for its new multipurpose community center.

Economic Development Winner: The Town of Elizabeth won for its successful effort to win a contract to provide natural gas service to the Roy O. Martin Lumber Company plywood plant located near the town.

An honorable mention went to the Village of Bonita for its Welcome to Bonita Project.

Population 3,001 to 10,000

Basic Services Winner: The City of DeQuincy won for successfully expanding and improving public service and acquiring equipment for the public works and police departments.

An honorable mention went to the Town of Addis for its sanitary system expansion and improvements project.

Community Development Winner: The Town of Mamou won for the pocket park, Le Plaza de Cajun, which serves as a gathering place for cultural events, arts and entertainment in the city's historic district.

Honorable mentions went to the Town of Vinton for the Vinton Skateboard Park, and the City of Rayne for its Adams Avenue sidewalk and beautification improvements

Economic Development Winner: The City of Oakdale won for its successful effort to build the necessary infrastructure to win contracts to provide water and sewer services to the Roy O. Martin Lumber Company plywood plant near the city.

An honorable mention went to the Town of Jonesboro for its downtown beautification project.

Population 10,001 to 25,000

Basic Services Winner: The City of Crowley won for its conversion of the historic Ford Building into a new City Hall with many amenities

Honorable mentions went to the City of Hammond for its wetlands assimilation project, and the City of Pineville for the city's unified response to hurricane disasters

Community Development Winner: The City of Natchitoches won for its new 40,000 square-foot Natchitoches Vents Center in the city's historic district. The center created a rebirth in the city and National Main Street prominence.

An honorable mention went to the City of Eunice for its Hurricane Aftermath Assistance Effort.

Economic Development Winner: The City of Baker won for its Main Street Business District and Cleanup Campaign, a successful effort to revive the city's main street businesses and promote commercial growth and increased customer traffic.

Population 25,001 or Higher

Basic Services Winner: The City of New Iberia won for its General Fund Recovery effort to institute spending controls and rebuild the general fund balance. This increased the unreserved balance from $62,000 to $2.87 million.

An honorable mention went to the City of Slidell for its Hurricane Katrina Recovery Project.

Community Development Winner: The City of Lake Charles won for its unique 9/11 Memorial Center to honor the city's fallen heroes in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks The center incorporates pieces of the ruins from the World Trade Center in New York.

Economic Development Winner: The City of Bossier City won for its Louisiana Boardwalk Project, a successful partnership between the city and a private developer to transform an area of blight and neglect into a thriving riverfront center of arts, entertainment and retail shopping for families and visitors

Honorable mentions went to the City of Lafayette for the Lafayette Utilities System's "Fiber to the Home" Project, and the City of Alexandria for its "There's No Place Like Home" consumer shopping promotion effort.

Details: For more information on the awards, contact Tommy Darensbourg, managing editor for LMA's Louisiana Municipal Review publication, at (225) 344-5001 or tdarensbourg@lamunis.org.
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Title Annotation:Louisiana Municipal Association announced Community Achievement Awards 2006
Author:Walkup, Alice
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Sep 18, 2006
Words:860
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