LAFAYETTE – Downtown Lafayette officials are buzzing about the potential for expansive residential developments in the coming years.
One of the main obstacles to development is sewage capacity, leaving city officials to figure out what to do with the you know what.
“It’s all over in the surrounding area, it doesn’t just impact downtown, but it’s something that could hinder development if LUS was not working on a permanent solution,” says Anita Begnaud, CEO of Downtown Development Authority.
That plan includes additions to the existing wastewater treatment plant on West Bayou Parkway that is expected to increase sewage capacity for 2000 more units.
But that plan is at least five years away from coming to fruition. In fact, ULL has had to build its own waste-water facility to accommodate a more-than two hundred unit student housing complex going up off Johnston street.
Explains Bill Crist, Director of Facility Management at ULL, “The idea is eventually, for us to pay for a forced main to run from here the West Bayou Parkway treatment plant that will cause this sewer treatment plant to go away.”
In the interim, Downtown Development Authority and LUS are having discussions to accommodate developers who want to build sooner rather than later.
“If someone is to build a residential facility, that they would put in a sewer lift station and LUS would partner with them to do a betterment agreement,” explains Begnaud.
The idea here is that other developers could tap into that excess sewer capacity.
Adds Begnaud, “I think there are a lot more development opportunities on the horizon within the next five year time frame that we need to figure out how to be prepared for.”
The four to five year project is expected to accommodate 2000 residential units and cost around $7 million.