Jun 20, 2013 6:35 PM by Chris Welty
Plans to develop Lafayette's Horse Farm are moving forward.
Tuesday, the council agreed to lease the Horse Farm to the non-profit group Lafayette Central Park Incorporated or LCPI. The lease is for 12-hundred dollars a year for 99 years and will not go into effect until next year.
The non-profit will be responsible for planning and developing the property into a public park.
Construction equipment is in place as crews get closer to developing the Horse Farm. Lafayette has 10 years to develop the park, but it's a project Lafayette Consolidated Government can't afford.
LCPI is picking up the tab. The non-profit will use community donations and is expected to funnel nearly 30-million dollars into the property.
"The goal of this being a world class park, I believe opening that process up in a way the private sector normally operates will be much more beneficial to this community and beneficial to the park," said City-Parish President Joey Durel.
The funding through the non-profit will be used for design and development and to staff a "master plan" team, consisting of architects, planners and landscapers.
"The fact that the community found this gem in the middle of the city that we all knew was there but didn't realize it was 100 acres of pristine land," said Gregg Gothreaux, CEO and President of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority .
Gothreaux believes once the park is complete, it will attract more people to Lafayette and Acadiana. "This park can be a big factor in our quality of life assets for Lafayette so the growth of the community in the future is dependent upon projects like these."
The Master Plan for the park could be presented to the city-parish council within 18 months. City-Parish President Joey Durel says a ribbon cutting for the completed park could happen as soon as fall of 2015.