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Wednesday, December 4, 2019



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Lafourche returns control of accounts to rec districts

Lafourche returns control of accounts to rec districts

The control of over $780,000 will be restored to four recreation districts in Lafourche Parish.

Recreation Districts 1, 2, 8 and 11 will have access to the money raised with local recreation taxes without going through the parish administration to request it.

Parish Councilman Corey Perrillioux, who sponsored the ordinance approved at the Nov. 12 council meeting, said the leaders of the recreation district found that it took the administration “longer than expected” to respond to their requests.

He said the ordinance only affects the money raised by the taxes within their districts, not the parishwide recreation tax.

District 1 has about $374,000 remaining in its fund balance for 2019, District 2 has about $90,000, District 8 has $363,000 and District 11 has $93,000.

The control of those dollars had been given to the parish when the council attempted to consolidate all of the recreation districts in the fall of 2016 to provide better control of the finances and personnel.

That consolidation has since fallen apart, though an advisory board remains intact.

“It will be nice for them to have control of their own checkbook,” said Perrillioux, who led the effort to reinstate the seven recreation districts earlier this year.

The ordinance passed with seven votes in favor of the reinstating the fund balances. Councilman Daniel Lorraine voted against the ordinance, and Councilman Craig Jacuzzo was absent.

Lorraine said he believed more work was needed to “straighten out” the parish’s recreation districts and that the ordinance wasn’t necessary. He said the council should talk to the parish staff member charged with approving the requests to get the money moving.

The council also held its first public hearing on the proposed 2020 budget. No members of the public appeared to discuss the budget and there was little discussion from the council.

The council members also discussed the potential of pulling out of the class-action lawsuit against large pharmaceutical companies that would allow the parish to receive money for the opioid epidemic.

Chairman Armand Autin said council members would have the option to propose a resolution to pull out if they want the board to discuss the matter. He said the Lafourche Parish District Attorney’s Office advised the council to stay in the lawsuit.

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.