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Wisner officials are applying for a HVAC improvement grant through the Louisiana Office of Community Development.

Mayor Marc McCarty made the announcement at the Town Council monthly meeting, Feb. 11.

The grant is part of the CARES Act and allocates funding to prevent the COVID-19 virus through upgrades of HVAC system to improve air quality and minimize the spread of airborne diseases.

Approximately $15.5 million is available for local governments with populations total 9,900 or less, according to grant documents.

Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis until July 30.

To be eligible, the community facility must be in a location of at least 50 percent low income people and serve abused children, battered spouses or elderly people.

In other action, several streets will be repaired with Wisner officials purchasing a load of cold mix, McCarty said. Franklin Parish Police Jury will pick up and deliver the mix.

“We’ll make repairs on Watson and Magnolia streets,” McCarty said. “Those are our trouble spots, but some more will be repaired.”

Meanwhile, the South Franklin Catfish Festival is on go for May 1 with a steady flow of vendors and sponsors coming in, said Elliot Britt, festival director.

“So far, we have 20 vendors that have signed up,” Britt said. “We have mailed out 50 to 60 potential vendors, and we have had a lot of traffic to our website.”

Festival locations have also been assigned with vendors positioned on Hope and Fort Scott streets, food vendors and entertainment at the green space behind the Franklin Parish Library Wisner branch and children jumpers at the green space beside the post office.

The Good Times Band and Brass Band have been booked for entertainment with more bands coming, Britt said.

A classic car show will also be held on Natchez Street, Britt said.

Additionally, festival t-shirts will be for sale, Britt said.

“We’re working on the (t-shirts),” Britt said. “We’re also working on signing up more sponsors.”

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