TALLULAH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The City of Tallulah has received $500,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess and redevelop abandoned properties.

“If we are successful in finalizing the downtown, I think some of the offices will relocate there because it’s close to the Courthouse, and City Hall. And we have two major Highways. People will feel better having a business downtown,”Tallulah mayor Charles Finlayson said.

The grant money will go toward environmental site assessments. Once an inspection is conducted on the 25 potential sites, experts will identify a clean-up plan and speak with previous owners to learn the history of the building.

“Maybe we can get small businesses to come. Maybe a law office. An insurance office, or maybe a small restaurant. I think that would be a plus.”

“There is a lot of trash and garbage, and old stuff around,” Tallulah resident Leroy Jackson.

Finlayson says this fund it’s a great opportunity to restore and reclaim the city’s brownfield sites to bring economic development.

“We have identified about 25 to 30 sites, most of those in the downtown area. We want to look at them first, but we have some other properties to look at, too,” Finlayson said.

Once those sites are evaluated, Faylanson says the city will apply for another grant to reconstruct three to four potential sites. Citizens are encouraged to give their input.

“They needed to be fixed anyway. I know there are wild animals and everything else in there. In the future, we need to have new places for people to go in and stuff like that,” another Tallulah resident Thomas Williams said.

City officials say once the feasibility study is done, the project will take about three to four years to be completed.

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