Metro Councilman John Delgado is asking council members a second time to waive fees for the Knock Knock Children’s Museum’s construction despite a donation from Mayor-President Kip Holden that covers the costs.
The Metro Council shot down a proposal at the end of April to waive more than $10,000 in construction and permitting fees for the Knock Knock Children’s Museum. The museum has been more than a decade in the making, and Holden vowed his support to the museum’s leaders.
Holden said he was shocked and upset that the council did not waive the fees for the nonprofit children’s museum that has raised more than $9.4 million for construction and furnishings. The next day, he wrote a personal check for more than $10,300 to cover the cost of the fees.
Holden said he took half of the money from his retirement savings from when he was at the Louisiana Legislature and he said the other half came from a personal savings account.
“The councilmen made it doom and gloom when they decided not to grant a $10,000 waiver from our departments to give to the people who have been working nine years, 10 years and more,” Holden said at the time.
Delgado, who voted in favor of waiving the fees the first time, is now bringing the issue back to the Metro Council at their May 13 meeting. He said the museum will add to Baton Rouge’s quality of life and tourism, which are issues that the Metro Council should support.
“The mayor’s generosity is tremendous, but this is something the city really should do,” Delgado said.
The resolution will need seven votes to pass. Delgado, Chauna Banks-Daniel, Donna Collins-Lewis, C. Denise Marcelle and Tara Wicker voted in favor it of the first time.
Councilman Ryan Heck said it set a dangerous precedent to waive the fees, and he voted against doing so along with Scott Wilson, Buddy Amoroso and Joel Boé.
Trae Welch, Ronnie Edwards and Chandler Loupe were not present for the vote.
The Knock Knock Children’s museum broke ground on April 22. The museum will sit on a hill on Dalrymple Drive facing the City-Brooks Community Park and LSU lakes.