The Port Allen City Council last week gave Mayor Richard Lee the OK to hire a Louisiana urban development and planning organization to assist in the city’s rebranding and beautification efforts as Port Allen gears up for its centennial celebrations this fall.

The city will pay the nonprofit Center for Planning Excellence approximately $28,000 to help city officials develop a new city logo and signage master plan to help attract tourists and help shape Port Allen’s aesthetic character.

The money for the project came from donations the city’s centennial planning committee procured from the private sector, city officials said.

“Our signs definitely need to be redone,” Councilwoman Ray Helen Lawrence said at the council’s Feb. 10 meeting.

The plan is to have new signs in place in downtown Port Allen, near City Hall, the riverfront levee park and along parts of Court Street, within six months — before the city’s series of events to commemorate its 100th anniversary in October.

According to a contract outline with CPEX, the sign types will include directional, destination, gateway and seasonal.

CPEX also will help the council outline sign replacements throughout the rest of the city and will develop the timeline whereby those improvements will be made.

Desegregation lecture

The West Baton Rouge Museum is inviting the public to its Feb. 24 lunchtime lecture and book signing for “A View from the Inside: 36 Years of Desegregation.”

The book’s author, Thomas J. Durant Jr., will discuss his journey from a small, racially segregated town in north Louisiana to a large, predominately white university, where he became engaged in the racial desegregation movement during his 36-year tenure as a professor.

Durant’s latest book covers how desegregation policies, programs, events and the actions of black students, faculty and staff shaped the course of desegregation, cultural diversity, race relations and cultural transformation of the university.

The lecture begins at noon. Participants are welcome to bring a bag lunch.

I-10 improvements

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the Interstate 10 Corridor Improvement Study Project Team will host another public meeting on the west side of the Mississippi River to discuss proposed improvements to the I-10 corridor in Baton Rouge.

The proposed improvements include Essen Lane to La. 415 in Port Allen.

The purpose of the meeting is to solicit public comment on the project.

The west side meeting, one of three DOTD is hosting in the Baton Rouge region, starts at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Addis Community Center.

The meeting will be in a semi-open house format and will include an interactive exercise where the public can submit input on the proposed project.

Representatives of DOTD and the consultant team will be present to answer any questions relative to the feasibility study.

For information, visit i10br.com.

KC selling fish dinners

The Port Allen Knights of Columbus will start their annual fried fish dinners sales on Friday.

The dinners will be sold at the KC Hall, 679 N. Jefferson, for $7 each from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every Friday during Lent.

Contact Adrian Genre at (225) 387-9667 for more information.

Submit news to Terry Jones at (225) 326-6627 or tjones@theadvocate.com.