Community leaders discuss the south side's future - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Community leaders discuss the south side's future

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MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) - On Tuesday, Monroe City and community leaders sat down with the Burnes Consulting report to talk more about the South Side of Monroe. In the report, Burnes outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the area. It was a pretty informal round table discussion and it never got heated, but some did voice concerns over the direction the city has taken in this neighborhood south of Interstate 20.

Gregg Smith, with the South Side Economic Development District, went over the report. Many asked questions, others sat silent and some made brief comments about the 20-page report outlining everything that is going right, and everything that is going wrong, for the South Side of Monroe.

And Police Juror Pat Moore feels the report is fair

"Not everything in the report you would want to hear about, but if we are realistic the report is very accurate in my opinion," Moore said.

Smith said the report and its recommendations follow a strategic method.

"It's the main street approach using civic values, social value, economic value, physical value and then assessing people to those different areas, putting people in place to help tackle those problems," Smith said.

Mayor Jamie Mayo says the biggest hurdle for projects on the south side is funding. He said the South Side Economic Development District needs a steady revenue stream.

He also addressed concerns his administration has ignored this neighborhood.

"If people feel ignored we want to know how and if they are making calls and our employees not returning calls promptly, whatever the case may be. We just need to find out what it may be," Mayo said.

Smith said today's discussion is only the beginning. The South Side Economic District meets every first and third Tuesday of each month at the Monroe City Council Chambers. He said anyone who wants to come is welcome. 

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