MONROE – Today in Farmerville, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) participated in a ribbon-cutting for the new Boys and Girls Club facility in Farmerville. Cassidy secured $713,000 for the facility to build a teen center there, as a Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriation.
“We are investing in young people in Farmerville now, so they can succeed and then invest in the next generation,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Whether they need a mentor, a place to study, or somewhere to make lifelong friends, this teen center will provide that.”
When completed, the teen center will connect to an existing gymnasium, and include media, gaming, multiple seating areas and study space. Meanwhile, the Boys and Girls Club in Farmerville will begin operations this upcoming school year with a pilot group of 40 children in grades 2-4, with plans to expand every upcoming school year.
Additionally in FY 2023, Cassidy netted $560,000 to install water metering technology in the town. Farmerville has also benefitted from his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), with the Union Parish Airport receiving $159,000 as a result of the law in 2021.
Cassidy was welcomed to the ceremony by Ms. Mary Barrios, Community Outreach Director for the Town of Farmerville.
“We are excited to receive this funding for a new Teen Center at Unity Park and what this will mean for the youth of our parish,” said Ms. Barrios. “We thank Senator Bill Cassidy for his leadership and support in securing the funding and for his presence in unveiling the plans to our community. We look forward to the completion of this project and the opportunity to offer a beautiful safe space with quality programming for our youth from elementary school through high school.
Additionally, Cassidy spoke to the Monroe and Ruston Chambers of Commerce, on the benefits that are still available to local leaders via his IIJA.
“Every time I come to Northeast Louisiana, people speak to the need for better roads and sewage, a passenger rail line connecting Monroe and Ruston to Dallas, and high-speed internet that will connect this region to the world,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The bipartisan infrastructure bill will make all this happen, and build our economy for 2050.”
In June, Cassidy announced that Louisiana will receive over $1.3 billion to extend high-speed, affordable internet throughout every corner of the state. The funds come from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Equity and Development (BEAD) program. This money originates from the IIJA, which ensures that the funds are directed to areas that lack access to high-speed internet. Additionally, last November, Cassidy participated in a stakeholder meeting to discuss building passenger rail service along the I-20 corridor, to connect Monroe, Ruston and Shreveport to Dallas and Atlanta. The IIJA has money to support the project.
Additionally in May, Monroe was granted $872,900 to clean up a brownfield at the Ouachita Candy Company site on Walnut Street. Finally, an appropriation separate from the IIJA of $4.8 million will be granted to Ruston to fund utility construction upgrades. That appropriation was secured by Cassidy.
At the Chamber events, Cassidy was welcomed by Mr. Roy Heatherly, President and CEO of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. Will Dearmon, President and CEO of the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.
“A huge thank you to Senator Cassidy for all he does for our area,” said Mr. Heatherly. “He is a true servant leader who continues to fight for our region and state! It was an honor to have him join us today for an update and outlook!”
“We were honored to have Senator Cassidy join us for the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber’s Capitol Chats event and provide valuable updates on initiatives that will benefit North Louisiana, including infrastructure investments,” said Mr. Dearmon. “We appreciate Senator Cassidy’s willingness to engage in meaningful conversations with business leaders in Lincoln Parish and want to thank him for continuing to support our community.”