The city of West Monroe recently learned it received a $99,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, to create a plan for downtown redevelopment in the Cotton Port Historic District.

Funding was awarded through USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant program. Grant funds will be used to create a plan for downtown development that will include landscaping along the area’s roadways, underground utilities, building revitalization and a blighted housing initiative.

“This grant allows the City of West Monroe to develop a much-needed plan for the redevelopment of our downtown area,” said West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell. “Once completed, this plan will provide a roadmap of what projects to undertake and how to fund them. Public engagement is imperative to creating a comprehensive plan. We look forward to hearing from the community on their vision for Downtown West Monroe.”

The project will be led by McClure, a civil engineering firm with specific expertise in place-based economic and community development. The city will work alongside the McClure Placemaking team along with local and regional leaders to define a new vision for West Monroe through a people-centered approach to community development.

The team will begin work this fall to identify areas for improvement in the downtown landscaping such as pedestrian accessibility, intersection landscapes and connection to the Ouachita River. As part of this effort, McClure will help identify potential capital and operating resources needed to implement identified projects.

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