Zabbia hitting home runs for Ponchatoula

By BRYAN T. McMAHON

Publisher

Which side of Barringer Drive will get the new city sidewalk?

That is the happy problem facing Ponchatoula Mayor Bob Zabbia, a problem I am thinking Independence Mayor Angelo Mannino would gladly swap for his favorite headaches.

Coming on to the annual Independence Sicilian Festival March 9-11, this is a grand time for truly committed entrepreneurs to start a business in Independence where need is great, supplies are scarce, and characters are everywhere. There is an available storefront – more than one.

Check the town out this weekend!

Oh, that Barringer Drive sidewalk is valued at $350,000, and the local taxpayers only have to pay the engineering costs.

Look for yards and yards of new concrete sidewalks tying together schools, parks, and pleasant Ponchatoula places where your legs want to carry you.

They are evidence (as if any more is needed) that Ponchatoula’s mayor has mastered not only the art of grant-getting, but the grant-givers’ current fascination with combining grant projects to get more cumulative bang for the bucks.

That is one of the reasons citizens will soon be seeing federally-funded projects that seem to be interconnected, because they will be.

The full new sidewalk story is awe-inspiring and will be told in this newspaper, but due to a promise made to one of Zabbia’s key team members, his assistant Rhonda Sheridan, we will hold off reporting the details of the project until after all the stakeholders have been briefed.

Zabbia’s success can be traced not only to his years of experience working with his late father and then for many years heading the firm, but also to his seat on the Regional Planning Commission.