Taste at the Lake is an annual event hosted by Friends of Lakeview.
Friends of Lakeview (“FOL”), is a non-profit organization that was established in 2010 by the Board of Directors of the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association (“LCIA”). FOL is a tax-qualified 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to identify capital improvement projects that will benefit Lakeview and surrounding neighborhoods and to raise funds to help make those projects become a reality.
In the Fall of 2011, FOL announced the proposed lighting project to install lighting along the running/biking path from Veterans Boulevard to Robert E. Lee Boulevard between West End and Pontchartrain Boulevards alongside the New Basin Canal Park.FOL hosted its first fundraiser for the project in November 2011. The inaugural “Lighting the Way in Lakeview Gala” cleared over $25,000 and, through the FOL’s “Adopt a Light” program, sponsors have already been secured for 13 of the approximately 100 classic New Orleans wrought-iron lamp posts at $1,500 each that will be installed through the project.
Since last fall, members of the Board of FOL have investigated the feasibility and potential cost of the project and held several meetings with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD) since West End Blvd and Pontchartrain Blvd are part of the Federal-Aid Highway System. Preliminary estimates to install lighting along the entire path from Veterans Highway to Robert E. Lee Boulevard are in the range of $1.5 to $2.0 million. The FOL Board is pleased to announce that FOL and the RPC will jointly submit a request for a major funding grant to the LDOTD toward the cost of the project as a State of Louisiana Transportation Enhancement Project. If approved, this grant could fund up to 80% of the total cost of the project.
As the first step in the grant process, FOL must secure electrical engineering plans for the project at its own cost. The Board of FOL recently approved an expenditure of $70,000 for those plans which will be required for any portion of the project whether or not the federal grant is ultimately approved. The grant request will be formally submitted in 2013 with potential program acceptance by year-end 2013. Originally, FOL planned to complete the project in several small phases but the new source of potential funding could result in the entire project being undertaken at one time and completed much sooner than expected. FOL will continue its efforts to raise funds to cover its share of the cost of the project through its annual fundraiser and sponsors of its “Adopt a Light” program.
11/16/2011: Here’s an article written by WWL regarding our efforts!