City of Denham Springs reveals flood recovery plan

The Long Term Recovery Plan for the city of Denham Springs which has been a Denham Strong work in progress since May 2017 has been formally adopted by the city. A copy of the plan can be found online at www.denhamstrong.com/plan by scanning the QR code at the end of this story.

Mayor Gerard Landry and Community Recovery Coordinator Jeanette Clark expressed, “All that we have accomplished since Denham Strong began would not have been possible without your (the community’s) involvement. As we go forward into the new year with great anticipation we will need your continued support with project implementation.”
Projects in progress
Detailed descriptions of the projects are available at DenhamStrong.com. If you would like more information please email jclark@cityofdenhamsprings.com.

These displays solicited comments and ideas from Denham Springs residents for recovering from the 2016 flood.

These displays solicited comments and ideas from Denham Springs residents for recovering from the 2016 flood.

Blighted Housing: Surveys of flooded areas have been completed by the permit department. Letters are going out to property owners to update the status of the flooded property. This group will now explore the options that are available to address the issues that were found in the process. Please contact the permit department (225)667-8326 for information.
Zoning & Ordinance: Jessica Netto, an intern from University of New Orleans’ Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) will be joining our team. She will be helping us inventory existing maps and plans, develop a current land use map, and gathering information needed for a comprehensive plan.
Emergency Preparedness: The team is continuing to work on an emergency operations plan. We hope to have this complete in March. We will be adding businesses, faith based groups and local organizations to the planning process.
Revitalize Main Street
Following the January Main Street market analysis presentation, a visioning process with the community will begin. We will be reaching out to stakeholders beginning in January. Please let us know if you want to be involved by emailing jclark@cityofdenhamsprings.com
Community Planning
After attending the CPEX Summit with some inspirational speakers we met with one from our area. Jackie Baumann, Engineer for the City of Gonzales has many projects going on. They are in the process of doing a buyout of a repetitive loss neighborhood, looking into the possibility of getting a passenger train stop on a proposed route from Baton Rouge and New Orleans and just recently bought a state highway from DOTD. We will continue to collaborate with them and other communities in our area.
Stormwater Management: Louisiana Office of Community Development has hired Danica Adams as the watershed coordinator for the state. We met with Danica to discuss local policy changes and projects that could be implemented as a part of the regional watershed efforts.
Affordable Housing: Louisiana Housing Corporation held a housing roundtable. Stakeholders worked in groups to decide on the top housing issues Louisianans’ deal with and how funding should be allocated. LHC will take this information and incorporate it into their plans for next year.
Blight, Stormwater and Emergency Preparedness groups will start meeting the first Wednesday of each month; next meeting is February 7, with Blight 8am, Stormwater 8:30am and Emergency Preparedness 3:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend meetings.
See www.denhamstrong.com/newsletter for past newsletter issues.
By Helen Wale Turner

Many buildings were destroyed by the August 2016 raging flood waters and had to be demolished.
The northern end of the historic antiques district flooded while the southern end escaped the water.