Bolton High students address key Alexandria concerns with Mayor Hall

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ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (KALB) – Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall’s September update on the state of the community was presented slightly differently this month as he addressed a crowd of high school students of Bolton.

Students submitted questions on a variety of topics, including economic development, crime issues, and helping low-income families find jobs.

The mayor said the trend shows more businesses expanding to LA-28 West with the development of Versailles Boulevard, but the idea is to bring more businesses downtown. Currently, the downtown amphitheater is undergoing an extensive renovation project to add a bandstand. Once completed, the amphitheater is expected to host more concerts and events along the Red River to be more attractive to businesses looking to expand downtown.

Another sign of economic development described by Mayor Hall is a project currently underway to connect Sugar House Rd. to Highway 1.

“We have the funds in the Governor’s Capital Expenditure Budget,” Mayor Hall said. “$19 million and we have the matching funds. Engineering is underway with this right now to connect Sugar House Rd. with Hwy 1. When you connect this you have just connected Hwy 1 to I-49.

Mayor Hall also said many households in the city have a median income of just $28,000. The students asked how they could break generational trends of poverty in their community.

“If you do well, your family will do well,” Mayor Hall said. “If we succeed in Alexandria, the cities around us will do better. We have to keep the retail businesses that we have now. »

Regarding crime, the mayor told the students that safety starts with young people. More and more teenagers are affected by violent crimes and gun violence that take place in their own neighbourhoods. While the mayor said gun violence this year in Alexandria was down from previous years, it is up to young people to help continue these downward trends.

“With our crime rates from last year, we’re less than 50% of what we were with gun violence and murder rates last year, so it’s down,” the mayor said. Lobby. “A lot of things are still happening, and they’re not going away, but it’s not increasing. You can’t do that just by talking about it. It takes great policing, but more than anything else, it takes you all.

City and neighborhood leaders said giving young people more work in the communion would help prevent violent crime. All of the city’s community centers are open, with most offering after-school programs or hours for open gyms.

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