City takes pains to make park accessible to all
The cause of promoting accessibility to public facilities brought several seniors, special-needs residents and parents of special-needs children to the June 14 meeting of the Breaux Bridge City Council.
The soon-to-be built South Main Park, at the old swimming pool site near the Veterans’ Home, will be designed specifically to serve residents with limited mobility.
Many attendees thanked District A council member Brenda Castille Hobbs for her dedication to the principle that residents with disabilities should have access to facilities that take their needs into account. South Side Park will eventually feature playground equipment designed for accessibility inside a walking path designed especially for elder residents and other mobility-impaired users. Such provisions do not detract from the facility for use by able-bodied residents.
Hobbs pointed out that 19 percent of residents of St. Martin Parish are age 60 and above. The school-age population includes 10 percent who have some special needs and 15 percent of adults over 18 have some form of handicap.
Other council members and Mayor Ricky Calais voiced approval in the inclusive focus of improvements in the new Master Plan projects. Calais said that the amendment to the special tax district allocation is now on Governor John Bel Edwards’ desk, so work should be able to begin on planned park and the sidewalk projects without much more delay.
Recent hard rains have put drainage back at the center of attention for city officials. Mayor Calais thanked Parish President Guy Cormier for extensive ditch and culvert cleaning ongoing in the city. He said that Breaux Bridge residents will soon be able to relax a little more when hard rains come. Three parish crews have been working on drainage improvements in Breaux Bridge.
In other business, a presentation by Ted Colligan of the Louisiana Emergency response Network (LERN) outlined plans to modernize medical emergency procedures in South Louisiana. The LERN plan involves establishing a comprehensive area-wide plan to make the best use of trauma resources in emergencies and shorten response time for time-sensitive cases.
A current upgrading of trauma facilities at Lafayette General Hospital to a Level 2 trauma center will improve emergency care throughout the area, Colligan said, but proactive steps need to be taken before large-scale emergencies occur.