Eleven Louisiana municipal governments – Maringouin, Covington, Ruston, Monroe, Jean Lafitte, St. Martinville, Gonzales, Shreveport, Clinton, Franklin and Gretna – took home the Louisiana Municipal Association's most prestigious award for outstanding municipal improvements and accomplishments at the annual banquet of the LMA’s 80th annual convention held Saturday, July 29 in Shreveport.

The LMA's annual awards program recognizes municipalities for outstanding achievement in basic services, community development, and economic development. Within these categories, awards are presented in four population subcategories.

The Town of Maringouin took home the first place prize in the Community Development category of municipalities with a population of 3,000 or less.

The town was awarded this achievement for its newly installed WaterSplash Park which began its construction in September 2016, according to Maringouin Mayor Demi Vorise.

The project was built using a base bid of $244,000, adding alternatives ranging from $24,000 to $40,000.  Maringouin WaterSplash Park was partly funded with $60,000 from the Iberville Parks and Recreation District (IPRD), the rest from the Town’s general financial budget.  Construction was complete in early May 2017.

The facility uses a “recycle system”, Vorise added, meaning the water is filtered and treated continuously similar to a swimming pool.

"My Administration is committed to serve this community and to ensure that all residents are provided the best opportunities possible,” said Vorise.  “We are honored to have been awarded such a prestigious award, the Community Achievement Award, by the Louisiana Municipal Association.  This project entailed hard work and perseverance. It is our deepest hope that our residents will continue to take advantage of what Maringouin has to offer and continue to share a sense of pride in this community. Together we have accomplished great things, but the best is just around the corner.”

Entries submitted were judged by a committee of judges from Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, Capital Region Planning Commission, the Louisiana Main Street, and the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshall.
Dr. Brookie Allphin, communications and governmental consultant, said the awards pay tribute to the “vision and ingenuity of elected municipal officials and those who assist them in planning and improving citizen services, community life, and economic conditions.”
"These awards truly reflect the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice necessary to secure progress for the modern American municipality on a path of progress,” Allphin said.

Also mentioned in the contest was the City of St. Gabriel for its recent installation of the Community Splash Pads.  Mayor Lionel Johnson and the City of St. Gabriel were given an Honorable Mention in the municipalities with a population of 3,001 to 10,000 category.

The full list of winners are as follows:

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(Population 3,000 and under)
Winner:
• Town of Maringouin – Maringouin WaterSplash Park 
Honorable Mention:
• Village of Loreauville – Al Broussard Commemorative Park Floating Kayak and Canoe Launch
• Town of Abita Springs – Beautification & Convenience Project
(Population 3,001 to 10,000)
Winner:
• City of Covington – Bouge Falaya Park Master Plan
Honorable Mention:
• City of Patterson – Jon M. Felterman Sr. Memorial Wharf
• City of St. Gabriel – Community Splash Pads
(Population 10,001 to 25,000)
Winner:
• City of Ruston – Moving Ruston Forward
Honorable Mention:
• City of Pineville – Making a BIG splash for the kids in Pineville!
(Population 25,001 and over)
Winner:
• City of Monroe – Fight the Blight

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

(Population 3,000 and under)
Winner:
• Town of Jean Lafitte – Jean Lafitte Art Gallery
(Population 3,001 to 10,000)
Winner:
• City of St. Martinville – Main Street Enhancement for a Better Future
Honorable Mention:
• City of Scott – “Expanding to New Destinations” Water, Sewer, Roadway & Drainage Infrastructure
• Town of Vinton – Commercial Park Entrance Road
(Population 10,001 to 25,000)
Winner:
• City of Gonzales – Downtown Revitalization
(Population 25,001 and over)
Winner:
• City of Shreveport – Geaux Fish!

BASIC SERVICES

(Population 3,000 and under)
Winner:
• Town of Clinton – Street Improvements
Honorable Mentions:
• Town of Brusly – Venzule Pump Station and Force Main Modifications
• Village of Fenton - Sewer Plant
(Population 3,001 to 10,000)
Winner:
• City of Franklin – 21st Century Water Meters
Honorable Mention:
• Town of Gramercy – Upgrade of Water Treatment Plant
• City of Addis – Effluent Pump Station and Sewer Rehabilitation Project
(Population 10,001 to 25,000)
Winner:
• City of Gretna – Capital Project Expansion Program