DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - More than a year of planning is paying off in Denham Springs now that the city has Denham Strong, a strategy for long-term recovery after the August 2016 flood.
"This is a culmination of all that information coming together," said Mayor Gerard Landry.
Mapped out with feedback from residents who attended countless community meetings, Landry says it's the best representation of what the people want. "It's priceless," said Landry. "I may be the mayor of the city and I may be trying to get us into the future, but you know what, it shouldn't just be my idea. It should be the thoughts and hopes and wants of the people in the City of Denham Springs and that's what this represents for us."
Creating a city communications plan and building a community center for the Boys and Girls Club are just two of the projects listed in the plan, all developed from community input. The outline takes it a step further because the listed goals are designed with timelines and priorities set to each one. Landry says it will keep them on track and help focus their efforts as they develop further.
"This is what you need to do to make this happen so that's how we kind of put the plan together and that's how we're going to execute the plan going forward," said Landry.
It's great to finally have the physical document, but the mayor says work for many of the items listed, they has already started. "We've already started a lot of this work," said Landry. "Down the hall tonight, we've got the National Parks Service to talk about what is it specifically that our citizens want to see in their parks."
While many areas have said returning to normal after the flood was top priority, Landry hopes Denham Springs will push further than normal and arrive at something better. "Things have to change and why not make it better? We have the opportunity to make it better in the future and that's exactly what we're going to do," said Landry.
For a look at a the full list of projects included in Denham Strong, click here.