- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Lafayette Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Boudreaux laid out dim prospects for the future of his department without an increased recreation tax or other new revenue sources.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1eIZkY4) Boudreaux spoke to the city-parish Future Needs/Funding Sources Committee, a citizen’s advisory group the City-Parish Council formed last month to review financial challenges facing local government.

Chief among those challenges in recent years has been the Parks and Recreation Department, which is supported by a 1.92-mill property tax that brings in about $2.5 million a year toward a $12.5 million annual parks and recreation budget.

Recreation fees contribute a few million dollars to the revenue stream, but the department depends on subsidies of about $5 million each year from other areas of the city-parish budget.

Boudreaux said those subsidies seem to be more threatened each year because of public safety and other needs that city-parish government has to fund.

“How are we going to continue to grow this department, because this community is growing?” Boudreaux said. “The upkeep and maintenance of the facilities cannot continue to come from the subsidy.”

The Parks and Recreation Department manages 35 parks, 10 recreation centers and three golf courses in the parish and oversees a wide variety of programming.

Boudreaux said he feels his department has done an admirable job of working within a tight budget, but he said there is not enough money to keep pace with the demand for recreation facilities and programs in the parish.

“We would love to grow the department, but the last 10 years have been survival,” Boudreaux said.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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