Deadline for State of the Parish tickets today

by Leslie Turk

Ticket orders for City-Parish President Joey Durel's State of the Parish address must be received by 4 p.m. today.

City-Parish President Joey Durel will present his vision and action plan for 2012 Wednesday, Feb. 15, in a "State of the Union" style address organized by The Independent and sponsored by IberiaBank.

The luncheon, which sells out every year, will begin at 11:45 a.m. in Exhibit Hall B of the Cajundome Convention Center. Today is the last day to buy tickets.

The focus of Durel's talk will be the launch of the comprehensive planning strategy for the parish's growth. The Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Committee took its first steps last week, holding an inaugural luncheon-meeting and setting the general agenda for what will be 18 months of public hearings, meetings with planning consultants and ultimately legislative initiatives before the City-Parish Council.

The group comprises about 30 people from a variety of employment and professional sectors in Lafayette Parish including the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, UL, the Acadian Home Builders Association, Lafayette Consolidated Government, arts/culture groups and non-profit agencies.

Attorney Kevin Blanchard is the committee's chairman; Pastor Deborah Young is vice chair.

Last December Durel signed a $1.2 million contract with Philadelphia planning firm Wallace, Roberts & Todd, whose consultants will work with the advisory committee and LCG planners to develop a comprehensive plan - through a series of public meetings and, they hope, via a lot of public input - designed to address such long-term issues as transportation, drainage, recreation and neighborhood planning. Representatives of Wallace, Roberts & Todd will attend the luncheon and be part of Durel's presentation.

The plan will be based in part on Lafayette In a Century, an earlier comprehensive plan put together in the 1990s by LCG planners and volunteer committees.

This is the ninth annual State of the Parish event, which has sold out every year since the tradition began after Durel was elected in 2003. A limited amount of theatre-style seating will be available for those who do not have reservations for lunch.

For additional information, contact Robin Hebert at 337-769-8603 or at [email protected].