CENTRAL — The city’s participation in the state economic development department’s Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program involves receiving public input through two meetings and an online survey.

There will be a 7:30 a.m. meeting Tuesday at the Central Middle School cafeteria and then a 4:30 p.m. meeting at the Central Branch Library, Mayor Shelton “Mac” Watts said.

The survey asks how strongly a person feels about things like availability of rental homes, cost of housing overall, access to recreation facilities, air quality, education, sales and property taxes, and more.

These comments, along with those received at the Tuesday meetings, will help to form a five-year strategic plan for economic development that will be developed over the next six to eight months in a multiyear process.

Initially, Central’s economic development consultant, Steve Vassallo, was going to be heavily involved in the program run by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, Watts said.

However, Watts announced at the July 12 City Council meeting that Vassallo, whose contract with Central ended in June, has taken a job with Terrebonne Parish.

Although the City Council had approved a budget item of $50,000 for Vassallo to continue to be an economic development consultant, no contract had been signed, Watts said.

Vassallo did not look for the job but was contacted about it by a national search firm hired by Terrebonne Parish, Watts said. “I hate to lose him. He was doing a good job for us,” he said.