St. Tammany Parish Recreation District 14, which serves Madisonville, Goodbee and parts of unincorporated Covington, was one of the few governmental agencies that succeeded in getting voters to approve a tax in April's election, albeit with only 51 percent support.
But the victory was only a partial one for the district that operates Coquille Parks and Recreation. In the same election, voters turned down a $7.8 million bond issue that would have allowed the park to complete 90 percent of the projects in its strategic plan.
St. Tammany Parish voters will decide Saturday whether to give another chance to a pair of sales tax renewals for the parish jail and courthou…
On Saturday, the recreation district will try again to win approval of the proposal to let the park issue up to $7.8 million in bonds. The bond issue will extend the park's millage by three years, Executive Director Richard Bentley-Smith said.
The money will pay for additional parking, restrooms and a roadway to La. 1077, which Bentley-Smith said is needed to ease traffic congestion in the area.
Other plans for the park include new fields, a multi-purpose building, a waterfront area for kayaks, expansion of a pond for fishing, a rustic education area with a fire pit, and a dog park, he said.
While the recreation district makes its second try for voter approval, Lighting District No. 6, which runs from the eastern side of Mandeville to Lacombe, is trying for the third time to get a 2.15-mill tax renewal approved.
If the renewal fails again, Parish Councilman Jake Groby said, the district will no longer be able to put the measure on the ballot as a renewal but will have to call it a new tax.
Up until Saturday, St. Tammany Parish officials had a political problem: how to sell two sales tax renewals to voters who rejected them by lar…
Groby blamed the most recent defeat, in April, on strong anti-tax sentiment in an election in which voters also rejected sales tax renewals for the parish jail and courthouse. Groby said the lighting millage got caught up in a "vote no to everything" sentiment among voters.
Money from the millage, which Groby said costs an average homeowner $35 a year, is used to install and replace streetlights. The district installed lights along La. 1088 in the last several years, something he said was important to improve safety around Lakeshore High School.
Street lighting is also a help to emergency vehicles, he said.
But more recently, Groby said, the district has not been installing new lights because of the possibility of running out of funds, which will happen by next October if voters do not approve the millage, which brings in about $87,000 per year.