BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The money for the revamp of the Baton Rouge City Lakes has been held up at least one more month after the vote to clear the way for the first phase of the project was delayed until October.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council was supposed to vote on approving $5 million for the project, and BREC was supposed to approve a similar amount Thursday night (Sept. 24), but those votes have been delayed after some of the funding from the state was reduced. The agreements the state, LSU, and BREC had together had to be reworked.
" We’re not able to get the capital outlay funds we had hoped for because of the covid-19 and the impact on state budgets so we’re kind of revising the plans at this point and going forward," said Rob Stuart, President and CEO of the LSU Foundation, one of the organizations taking lead on getting the lakes Masterplan set into motion.
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BREC and LSU say this shouldn’t slow the progress of the project; dredging of the lakes is still expected to start in the fall of 2021. That dredging is expected to take care of the algae problems that have plagued the lakes over the last several years.
The lakes are in a state where they’re too shallow and it’s causing a lot of vegetation to grow," said Amanda Takacs, Asst. Director of Resource Management at BREC.
Takacs said the lakes have not been dredged since they were transformed from a cypress swamp and now they are reverting back.
" We’re trying to still make the lakes enjoyable for people until the dredging takes place and it’s really the master plan project with the dredging that’s going to fix these issues," she said.
Stuart said four of the six lakes will be completed through the plan. Only the University and the Crest lakes will remain. Stuart said those will be completed once more funds become available.
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