DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - The City of Donaldsonville is adding new attractions to its landscape to encourage visitors to return to its Historic Downtown District.
The area has welcomed several new merchants in recent years.
Donaldsonville Downtown Development Executive Director Missy Jandura said the foot traffic has followed.
"We are seeing a lot of families come out, and with industrial corridor coming we are starting to get more contractors and some younger families and kids running around too," Jandura said.
The Main Street Program is also getting a boost.
Chef John Folse has donated his historic building to the program.
Jandura said the second floor of the Civil War jewel will be polished into office space for the Main Street Program. It includes plans to open a corner store downstairs, where only local products will be sold.
The city is building its infrastructure to support new business.
Its Riverfront attraction, Crescent Park, will be getting more than $700,000 in improvements this year to support live events.
Mayor Leroy Sullivan said the bigger plan is to get people to settle on the west bank of Ascension Parish.
"Economic growth is making Donaldsonville an exciting place to live. It's starting to come together," Sullivan said.
The fire department is getting ready to better serve the city.
Chief Chuck Montero said there were only two fulltime firemen working at the station when it was built in 1960. It has since grown to eleven fulltime workers and additional volunteers. Montero said the new site will come with broader responsibilities.
"Getting physically fit to do the job, and there will be a training room with videos and other things so we can train them cognitively and their physical skills," Montero said.
The changes will not come overnight. The city has been working for several years to revive its rare gems. The smaller pieces are all part of its historic treasure.
Crescent Park is slated to be complete by next year.
The city is also getting $1.3 million for improvements to Bayou LaFourche and another $4.1 million in sewer system upgrades.