The Westwego City Council will consider Monday whether to institute a modest charge to cover the cost of accommodating the production companies that shoot movies in the city.
Councilman Johnny Nobles, who put the item on the agenda, said he got the idea after crews filmed the romantic drama “The Best of Me” in Westwego late last month.
The city shut down Fourth Street on a Thursday night, and crews used the covered area at Westwego’s Farmers Market.
Nobles said it occurred to him that the costs associated with providing public facilities for private companies — even something as simple as cleaning the restrooms — shouldn’t be passed on to taxpayers.
Nobles said he saw nothing negative about this particular production and that the city welcomes as many movie crews as it can get.
However, he said, “We shouldn’t be using city funds to pay for cleanup if we’re not getting reimbursed or getting a rental fee off of it.”
He said the production paid to rent space at a storage yard next door at Timento’s, a local hardware store and diving-equipment shop.
Nobles said the city is strapped for cash and should at least come out even on movie productions.
He said he’s heard that other municipalities charge modest fees. “I really don’t know a whole lot about it, but it’s something we have to explore,” he said.
Mayor John Shaddinger said he supports the effort to come up with a sensible policy for film productions.
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