New Roads Mayor Cornell Dukes talked to the members of the False River New Roads Rotary Club at their Tuesday luncheon meeting about what he’s been able to accomplish in his first 100 days in office.
The list of accomplishments is long and covers a broad spectrum of issues, but all are positive improvements affecting large portions of the city’s residents.
Several focused on the city’s downtown district, including the restriping of Main Street and the City Hall parking lot and the purchase of a street sweeper to keep downtown clean.
The mayor was particularly proud of the revitalization of Doris Park, the small park at the intersection of Main and New Road streets, which has been neglected for a long time.
Another is working on “moving the City into the 21st century” by adding the capability for officers with the New Roads Police Department with an app that will allow police to have surveillance along Main Street, Dukes said.
He continued by saying he’s had all the street lights along Main Street painted to make them all uniform. The only ones that have not been painted are the large box-style street lights, like those in front of City Hall. Those will be changed after a proposed lighting project becomes a reality.
Dukes also—just a little over six weeks after taking office—hosted the city’s first event on the day before Mardi Gras, the City of New Roads’ Lundi Gras Garden Toast.
“There’s never much of anything going on Lundi Gras day and this event will change that this year and hopefully become a New Roads tradition,” he said when the event was announced.
An elegant afternoon event featuring live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the gala was highlighted by the presentation of the princesses of both Mardi Gras parades, the Community Center of Pointe Coupee Carnival Club and the Lions Club.
Also added to the festivities was the introduction of the two Harvest Festival of False River’s pageant queens from the Teen Miss and Miss categories.
Two of Dukes’ accomplishments involved partnerships with outside agencies.
The mayor recruited Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to provide free legal aid to New Roads residents on the third Wednesday of each month and the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance to provide credit counseling to prepare people in the city to buy their first home on the second Tuesday of each month.
He also spoke about the completion of the installation of the city’s four welcome signs, huge green and white signs he says let people know they’re entering one of the most hospitable cities in the region. A sign is posted at each of the entrances to New Roads.
Two other projects being undertaken by the city under Mayor Dukes’ guidance are related—a jumpstart of the elimination of blighted properties and abandoned cars and a litter pick up drive, in coordination with Miss Louisiana Earth Chelsea Grant set for Saturday, June 8.
Volunteers can sign up by calling (225) 638-5360, ext. 402 or ext. 202.
Dukes also announced the relocation of the Pointe Coupee Relay For Life, the parish’s most effective fundraiser for the American Cancer Society normally set for an October date, from the Scott Civic Center to downtown New Roads along Main Street.
He also talked about the city’s Summer Employment Program for youth from 14 to 17 and for residents 62 and older. Any applicant must live inside the city limits. Registration will begin on May 24 and can be facilitated by calling City Hall, (225) 638-5360.