In a series of unanimous resolutions, the Lafourche Parish Council voted to give 10th Ward recreational centers and the Town of Golden Meadow up to $550,000 for repairs and improvements.
At the public meeting Tuesday in Mathews, the council approved “Cooperative Endeavor Agreements” between the parish and three 10th Ward entities to allow funding for upgrades and repairs at the facilities which provide recreation to residents throughout the year.
The Town of Golden Meadow will be given funding up to $50,000 to make repairs to the pool at Oak Ridge Park. The pool is used for public swimming and other recreational activities.
The Cut Off Youth Center is set to receive as much as $150,000 for repairs to its building. The COYC is also used by residents of the parish for recreation and other activities.
Finally, the Bayou Civic Club will be granted up to $350,000 for various repairs to buildings and air conditioning, tennis courts, and a concession stand.
In addition to providing recreational activities and facilities to the public, Bayou Civic Club has also signed a lease agreement with the parish to utilize the Larose Civic Center as an evacuation shelter in the event of emergencies.
The funding amounts are not new requests, but had already been included in the parish’s 2014 Operating, Maintenance, and Capital Budget at the November 2013 council public meeting when the budget was adopted by the council.
Parish President Charlotte Randolph said the delay from November until now was due to getting the necessary documents required in the agreements.
As stated in the resolutions, the Town of Golden Meadow and the two centers will make the repairs and request reimbursement from the parish.
Councilman Lindel Toups was strongly opposed and wanted the groups requesting money to come before the council to show proof of need.
Councilman Jerry Lafont was quick to point out to Toups that the Bayou Civic Club and the Cut Off Youth Center had already complied with that wish in 2013 when the money was originally requested and that the council, including Toups, had already voted in favor of allocating the funds when it adopted the 2014 budget.
Joe Fertitta put the funding in perspective, noting that these recreational entities are valuable to the people of the parish.
“They are providing a service to the parish. The parish could not afford to own such facilities,” he said.
Parish President Charlotte Randolph made it very clear how the cooperative agreement works.
“They will present their plans and costs to the parish. They have to come before the council for approval. They will pay up front and we will reimburse,” she stated.
Still, Toups was unhappy.
“Giving all this money tonight, over a half-million, we are like the guy on TV who says ‘Let ‘em have it!’,” he said.
Councilman Aaron Caillouet, who also voted yes but is in favor of a parishwide recreation board which could prioritize projects and spending, said that spending is not determined in any organized way.
“We need a plan for all this spending. Right now, we pick projects here and there. It’s first come, first served,” he said.
Posted on Fri, September 12, 2014
by Buster Avera Contributing Writer