DONALDSONVILLE — With its coffers in danger of running dry, the city’s Downtown Development District received an advance Tuesday to help keep the organization afloat through the summer.
The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to appropriate $10,000 to the city-created organization, with plans to recoup the money in the fall.
To cover the advance, the city will use $10,000 it recently received through its industrial development board, Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. said.
The city will replenish the $10,000 when it collects its share of Ascension Parish’s hotel-motel tax revenues in mid-September, Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said.
Brent Landry, representing the downtown group, said the funds will help the mostly volunteer operation cover its financial needs until its annual funding arrives. He added that the DDD is also seeking additional funding sources for the coming year.
In past years, the district has been funded through a $25,000 line item in the city budget. A portion of the city’s hotel-motel tax share covers the line item, as the dollars must be used to fund culture and tourism programs.
Landry said that without the funds, the DDD would not have been able to meet its June 15 payroll or hold its annual July 3 fireworks celebration.
Councilman Emile Spano, the lone dissenting vote, said he supports the district’s efforts, but suggested the funds could be used to address the city’s other needs.
“I get constituents all the time asking me for help with issues, and I tell them we don’t have any extra money,” he said. “I find out we have this $10,000, so what do I tell these people who have been waiting years and years?”
Councilman Charles Brown Sr. stressed the urgency of the situation, citing the DDD’s efforts as reason to appropriate the funds.
“The DDD’s been doing great work,” he said. “The money is available, so I don’t see why we can’t appropriate it.”
In other business, the council also voted unanimously to approve its 2014-15 operating budget.
Few changes were made the original proposed fiscal plan, which projects revenues of about $7.729 million and expenditures of about $7.7 million.