- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - The Opelousas Board of Aldermen has approved a resolution expanding the boundaries of the cultural district to include the northern portion of the city limits.

City Tourism Director Melanie Lebouef said after Tuesday’s meeting that extending the existing cultural district could allow nonprofit entities and privately owned buildings 50 years or older to become eligible for state and federal tax credits for the costs of building renovations.

Lebouef tells The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1eJ2iv2 ) the Michel Prudhomme home, built in the 1790s, would become eligible under the expanded district boundaries as well as St. Landry Catholic Church, first built in the early 1800s, and Holy Ghost Catholic Church.

“We’ve received a lot of interest from St. Landry and the preservationist group associated with the Michel Prudhomme home. This allows them and other nonprofits to take advantage of potential tax credits,” Lebouef said.

“One of our goals (in city tourism) is to revitalize the downtown area. There are many historic buildings in the business district and enhancing these can only help create more tourism,” Lebouef said.

She said the city’s business district has been primarily dormant for years, estimating that there are about 15 empty buildings within a two-block area of the courthouse square.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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