ST. FRANCISVILLE — The fates of a proposed new recreation center and a new wellness center are in the hands of West Feliciana Parish voters.
Four propositions will be on the Nov. 21 ballot for parish voters, and if approved, millage proceeds would be dedicated to funding various public service and infrastructure projects. Each proposition specifies the area to which that millage will be applied.
PROPOSITION ONE includes a renewal of a half-mill to fund West Feliciana Parish Hospital operations.
PROPOSITION TWO includes a renewal of 1 mill to fund a number of the parish’s public health facilities, as well as social services, plus supporting mosquito abatement, animal control, solid waste collection and disposal, and the Coroner’s Office.
PROPOSITION THREE is a renewal of 8.89 mills, with half of the proceeds going to fund parish infrastructure needs such as roads, bridges and drainage; 33 percent for public buildings and grounds; and 17 percent for recreational parks and facilities.
PROPOSITION FOUR is new and re-dedicates a total of 2 mills from the first two propositions that will be used to fund the construction and operation of a new parish recreation center at the West Feliciana Sports Park along with a new wellness center to be built and maintained next to the new hospital off Barnett Road. The 2 mills would come from the re-allocation of 1.5 mills from the hospital operations (Proposition One) and a half-mill from the public health services (Proposition Two).
The first three propositions are for 10-year renewals while the fourth one is for 20 years.
“(Adoption) of all four propositions will not increase costs to taxpayers,” Parish Communications Director Jennifer Rome said in an email. “However, the re-dedication of 1.5 and .5 mills, from hospital operations and public health, respectively, provides for development of an indoor recreation complex, aquatic center and wellness center.”
According to a chart provided by Rome, the reallocation of the 2 mills for Proposition Four will generate an estimated $540,000 annually to fund the construction and operation of the recreation/aquatics center and the wellness center.
“Of course health, fitness and providing all of West Feliciana’s citizens with year-round opportunities to be physically active are among the benefits these new facilities offer,” Rome’s email said. “However, more important than all of these is the opportunity to provide every student with swim instruction. The aquatic center makes it possible for parish schools to incorporate swim instruction into the physical education curriculum.”