Opelousas without an Economic Development Department

Photo by KADN staff

Mayor forced to cut positions to balance budget the city council would approve

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 4:11pm

Today marked the first day the city of Opelousas no longer has an economic development department, and eleven people without jobs.  All this is due to the city's council enforcing raises for civil service workers along with firefighters and police officers, and in order to balance the city's budget, Mayor Don Cravins was forced to cut positions and completely eliminate the economic development department.

"We have a group of council members who quite frankly I think have some real, real problems in terms of decision making when it comes to business and community development," says Mayor Cravins.

"To just completely do away with the department I think is detrimental or will be detrimental to the city in the long term," says John Lamke, former director of economic and community development for the city of Opelousas.

Now the duties of the economic development director will most likely be spread out to existing employees within the executive department with other jobs.  Duties such as looking for and managing grants for city infrastructure and community projects, and the worry is who will find the time to handle the existing grants, and who will continue to find more?

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