Improve Quality of Place
Mayor Broome initiated a volunteer-led litter abatement program, Operation Fresh Start, by partnering with non-profit partners Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful to clean up the community. Operation Fresh Start is part of the Mayor-President’s comprehensive strategy to combat blight in East Baton Rouge Parish. The quarterly effort was kicked off in 2018 and has yielded the following results for the community:
- Disposed of over 400 tons of trash and debris from our community
- Removed over 6,300 illegally dumped tires• Removed over 3,100 bags of litter
- Filled over 170 potholes
- Removed over 34,000 pounds of broken concrete
- Removed 140 illegally placed signs
The Operation Fresh Start program will continue to ramp up and grow to remove hundreds of blighted properties in our parish.
Progress by the Numbers:
- Baton Rouge utilized $7.3 million in federal Community Block Development Grants to assist low- and moderate- income residents with shelter, basic needs, housing rehabilitation, employment skills and other supportive services. Provided $1 million in funding to St. Vincent de Paul for an expanded homeless shelter with an additional 36 beds. Invested more than $225,000 in additional homelessness prevention efforts, shelter needs, and other services.
- Baton Rouge utilized $7.3 million in federal Community Block Development Grants to assist low- and moderate- income residents with shelter, basic needs, housing rehabilitation, employment skills and other supportive services.
- Provided $1 million in funding to St. Vincent de Paul for an expanded homeless shelter with an additional 36 beds. Invested more than $225,000 in additional homelessness prevention efforts, shelter needs, and other services.
$30 Million Choice Neighborhood Initiative Grant
Out of 32 grant candidates, Baton Rouge was one of only four cities awarded a $29.5 million Choice Neighborhood grant by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for redeveloping the Ardendale-anchored East Fairfield, Smiley Heights and Melrose East neighborhoods.
Plank Rd Master Plan
The Plank Road Corridor Master Plan was unveiled in 2019 will revitalize a 4.3-mile stretch of Plank Road from 22nd Street to Harding Boulevard. The project embodies Mayor Broome’s commitment to create equitable development for Baton Rouge’s most blighted and disinvested areas.
In partnership with Build Baton Rouge, the final stages of the Plank Rd master plan are in development to grow commerce and access to jobs, build neighborhood institutions, and strengthen the infrastructure in the Plank Rd Corridor.
Investar Bank Buidling New Homes in North Baton Rouge Gracie Subdivision
Mayor Broome’s call-to-action for public-private partnerships led Investar Bank to announce their purchase of land in North Baton Rouge.Their purchase is a part of their unique approach to increasing homeownership in historically underserved areas.
In May 2019, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul broke ground on a $1 million expansion of its shelter that will provide more beds to those in need during hurricanes, floods, overnight freezes, and other conditions. In September 2019, Mayor Broome allocated approximately $7.2 million to organizations that help low- and moderate-income residents with shelter, basic needs, housing rehabilitation, employment skills, and other supportive services.
Community Development In Action Baton Rouge received a $15 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant, covering 37% of the Bus Rapid Transit project’s anticipated $42 million cost. The 9-mile line will connect Plank Road to Nicholson Drive with stops along the way in North Baton Rouge, downtown and LSU’s campus. The Bus Rapid Transit will serve as the centerpiece of the Imagine Plank Road Corridor Master Plan.
Leading with the Power of Residents
Blight Bootcamp was a one-day conference designed to engage and empower East Baton Rouge Parish residents to fight blight in their communities. Over 100 residents learned how to work with local government, access resources, and motivate your neighbors to make a difference in our community.
Attendees heard from several panels on topics such as using the 311 app, how to organize your neighborhood, public safety, landscaping and public art, information on clearing titles and dealing with adjudicated properties, and how to form effective civic associations.