M-P Boulet to hold town halls for public input next week

Lafayette Mayor-President elect Monique Blanco Boulet celebrates her victory in the runoff election on Nov. 18, 2023. Photo by Travis Gauthier

Incoming Lafayette Mayor-President Monique Blanco Boulet is holding three public town hall meetings next week to gather input from the public on a trio of key issues ahead of her January inauguration.

Boulet is looking for feedback on the Interstate 49 South connector, Lafayette's housing needs and local economic development efforts at three separate events starting Monday. All events are open to the public, but space may be limited, so registration is encouraged.

I-49 Lafayette ConnectorMonday, Dec. 18 at 1 p.m.The LITE Center
537 Cajundome Blvd.
Revitalization & HousingTuesday, Dec. 19 at 8 a.m.Acadiana Center for the Arts
101 W. Vermilion St.
LCG’s Impact on Economic GrowthWednesday, Dec. 20 at 8 a.mLEDA Office
211 E Devalcourt St.

Boulet has been a firm advocate for the I-49 connector project that has been decades in the making in Lafayette. During her election campaign, Boulet insisted that the project has the potential to be a strategic investment to improve the neighborhood around the existing Evangeline Thruway corridor, which has long been the scene of concentrated blight and neglect, plus a frequently fatal area for pedestrians.

Housing was a central issue in Straight News Online's coverage of this fall's mayor-president election, as young voters frequently identified it as one of the key challenges they faced to living in Lafayette. Boulet has said that the city's zoning codes need to be thoroughly reviewed to identify changes that could increase Lafayette's supply of housing.

Economic development also figured prominently into the M-P race, and Boulet will be looking to draw from her experience as CEO of the Acadiana Planning Commission, which was influential in major regional projects like the new First Solar plant coming to Iberia Parish, the expansion of UL's New Iberia Research Center and a $30 million federal grant to expand internet access in rural parts of Acadiana.

Residents unable to attend next week's town hall meetings can submit their input to Boulet online through her transition website.