Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Donaldsonville falls short of money for levee project

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DONALDSONVILLE - A project to improve a portion of the levee has run out of money and city officials have no idea where they can get more.

It's all part of a riverfront development project. Benches, lights, and pavement have started to pop up on the levee, near the pumping station, but the work haven't gotten very far.

After investing about $500,000 it received from the state, Mayor Leroy Sullivan, Sr. says they are about $109,000 short.

A Rails for Trails grant provided an extra $200,000, but according to Leroy, they need the extra hundred thousand dollars to continue.

Residents like Loni Bourg, who live and work near the levee, have mixed feelings about the improvements.

"I just feel like maybe that's not the right place at this time to spend the money," said Bourg.

After living in Donaldsonville for 17 years, Bourg says she agrees the riverfront needs to be developed, but to her, a trail is not the answer.

"There's not enough restaurants, family restaurants," said Bourg, "you know we wouldn't have to go across the river so much if we had places to go with our families."

Virginia Folse, who retired in Donaldsonville with her husband, believes the levee project has potential.

"I think it's nice if you want to walk to the levee and sit down, and watch the traffic, and the river I think it's nice," said Folse.

Most residents agree drawing more people to this side of town is a good idea. The question is whether city officials will find the money the project a shot.



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