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Big plans, high hopes on Mayor’s list for next four years

Staff Report

A reelection bid may call for a celebration, but it does not last long. In fact, it’s a call to get right back to work, as Plaquemine Mayor Edwin Reeves has learned through the years.

A victory in the Nov. 3 election gave Reeves a second term in office, which begins in January.

A victory in the Nov. 3 election gave Reeves a second term in office, which begins in January. It marks the continuation of projects he and other city leaders put on the drawing board the last four years.

It’s a familiar scenario for Reeves, who served nearly 15 years on the Plaquemine Board of Selectmen and 14 years on the Iberville Parish Council.

“It’s been 33 years now – that’s half of my life,” he said.

Recreation projects will mark the first line of work.

“Improvements to local parks are already set to move forward, which will include the expansion of walking trails, open-air pavilions and swing sets at all the parks,” Reeves said. “The biggest thing we’re trying to get going is the levee-top trail, but we’re waiting on the state to approve it. It’s ready to go out for bids, and once they approve it, we will have it ready to get going.”

City plans include more than just recreation, however.

Improvements to public works will play a key part of his next four years at the helm of city government.

Those projects will include upgrades to water infrastructure, which are a common wish-list item among nearly every municipality in Louisiana.

Reeves also wants to close the North Plaquemine sewer plant and convert it into a lift station.

Those plans come into place amid residential growth, including four subdivisions under construction – most of which are near completion.

A target date of January is set for completion of a subdivision on the south side of Belleview Road, just east of Sebastian Road. Seventeen homes are included in the project.

The Island development, along with work on residential plans along Enterprise Boulevard, are also on the horizon, Reeves said.

The spike in industrial development – including $6 billion in investment from Shintech and ongoing investments from Dow Chemical – over the last 10 years helped spark the growth.

Economic development will be the next component.

Reeves said he gave Charley Robinson one year at the helm of the city’s Main Street Program in hopes to generate new interest to the downtown area, which has lost tenants during the last 15 years.

“It’s 'Every Street USA' – not big enough, not enough adequate parking and things like that,"

he said. “It’s everybody’s dream and everybody’s nightmare at the same time.”

The development of subdivisions could spark new retail development, Reeves said.

“I think our outlook over all for the next four years is pretty good,” he said. “If people buy into the subdivisions, we will be doing really well.

“You need rooftops to get retail, and if we get the rooftops, there’s no telling what we will see,” Reeves said. “The school system helps a lot, too, so we feel very good about our movement in Plaquemine. I feel good about where we are now, and I feel good about the next four years.”