Jennings is on the move
With $100,000 in upgrades coming to the Jennings Headquarters library branch, a $5 million project to reorganize and move the city’s operations to Main Street, and a $20,000 projector coming soon to the Strand Theatre, the City of Jennings is on the move.
Over the past few years, Jeff Davis Parish Libraries (JDPL) have expanded service in Elton, Lake Arthur and Welsh, as well as purchased a new bookmobile that travels to rural areas like Fenton, Hathaway, Raymond and Pine Island.
As part of the final phase of the library system’s plan to update, the Jennings Headquarters branch will be completely renovated over the next few years, at no cost to the taxpayer. Phase one of the renovation includes a newly-designed children’s area, along with converting the old children’s room into a community reading room.
The director of JDPL said her office has been saving up funds for years in order to be able to afford such an immense face-lift.
The City Hall Project includes freeing up space for the city’s cramped police and fire departments by moving the city court and legal department to the Government Facilities building. There would also be upgrades to the city’s Street Department Building.
In addition to relocating the city’s operations, the project stands to lure in new business opportunities – breathing new life into the heart of downtown Jennings. Also, because the city’s operations will be relocated to the former Allwest building, the city is reinvesting in the community by saving a historic building, rather than starting from scratch.
The $5 million needed for the City Hall Project will be paid for with the same sales tax currently dedicated to paying off the city’s sewer plant renovation.
Meanwhile, fundraising efforts to help install a new digital projector in the Strand Theatre are going strong.
A Block Off Broadway (ABOB) and the Jeff Davis Arts Council are currently working to raise around $20,000 to restore movie-projecting abilities to the 73-year-old theatre. And thanks to the generous donations from businesses and individuals in the community, ABOB is nearly halfway there. The project demonstrates that when a community comes together, anything is possible.
Plans for the projector include a film festival that kicks off this weekend with the opening ABOB’s production of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps.” Also, the Jeff Davis Arts Council and ABOB are planning to team up with the Jennings Carnegie Library for a summer reading program that would allow children to compare works of literature with the movies they inspired.
All three projects stand to bring in new revenues and visitors to our city, but the best part is that this was all possible without asking the taxpayers to shell out more money. The cost of all three projects was covered by the careful and responsible planning and budgeting by board members and city officials – with no new taxes enacted to cover the costs. By making reasonable and well-thought-out plans for progress, officials here are proving that they are excellent stewards of the taxpayers’ money.
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