Terrebonne Rec 2-3 Discusses Millage Plan at Special Meeting
The Terrebonne Parish Recreation District 2-3 Board held a special meeting yesterday afternoon, during which an open discussion to review and update the plan for millage renewal was held.
Board member Michael Bergeron presented detailed financial plans, estimating what the District “can’t do” and “can do” with the remaining balance and incoming money.
At the current rate — after estimating such incoming funds as the renewal of the 5-mill property tax for 10 years and sale of the MLK property, among other monies — the District will be roughly $2.6 million in the “red” (negative) by 2022, according to Bergeron’s report, due mainly to the funding of the Bayou Country Sports Park’s (BCSP).
Bergeron highlighted the BCSP’s infrastructure, parking completion and tennis complex as certain items in the plan that are “not do-able” and should be the Parish’s responsibility.
However, in his “can do” financial plan, by removing the highlighted projects, the District won’t be in the red until 2024. But the just over $30,000 negative could possibly be accommodated by moving some projects around, Bergeron said. If the District receives the expected monies, it can fund all the capital expenditures (minus the can’t-do ones) that are planned through 2027, he said.
The Board plans to present the findings to the Terrebonne Parish Council.
“The reason we had this meeting and the reason that we’re putting together this plan is to tell the Parish that we can’t continue building Bayou Country Sports Park,” said board member Ryan Page after the meeting. “We can’t continue funding it from our operating dollars.”
Page said the Board’s goal is to have the Parish take over the construction of BCSP and have the District maintain it.
His fellow board members agreed on those same sentiments during the meeting, although his past actions were called into question by Board Vice Chairman Chris Chaisson.
“You backstabbed it,” Chaisson said to Page.
Chaisson was referring to a video he put together, which he said the Board approved, detailing a plan for the 10-year renewal.
The video was created and publicized in hopes of getting support for the renewal, however, District 2-3 residents decided against the millage in October’s election.
The current millage expires at the end of the 2020 tax year.
Page spoke out against the video and renewal last year.
“I absolutely don’t feel like I backstabbed the Board,” he told the Times. “I feel like I took a stance that was for good reason, and I think a lot of people in the community felt the same way I did. That was dictated by the vote and the millage failing.”
At the time, the District did not have a plan for how they wanted to move forward with finishing the park or renewing the millage, Page said, but the Board is currently headed in the right direction.
“It took Michael putting [the financial plan] together,” he said. “But I do feel that with us going and presenting the facts to the Parish Council that we can’t afford it, hopefully, they can see the bigger picture and step in and help us.”