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Council moves forward with Ascension recreation tax

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Posted: Jun 19, 2014 10:21 PM by Brittany Weiss
Updated: Jun 19, 2014 10:21 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: council, ascension, tax, property tax, recreation, Lamar Dixon, parks, Brittany Weiss

ASCENSION PARISH - Council members voted 7-2 Thursday night to add a 5 mill property tax to the November ballot that, if approved by voters, would fund recreational improvements in Ascension Parish.

A team of people called "Better Recreation Now" presented their project for at $30 million dollar plan that would upgrade parks parish-wide.

"The facilities are just outdated," said Trey Arnold. "They're falling apart."

The tax would generate about $58 million over 10 years. The tax would cost homeowners $3-$9 a month, based on home value.

The plan includes upgrades to the parish's already existing 16 neighborhood parks and to build a new recreational complex at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. That facility includes new football and soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a performing arts center, an indoor multi-use facility and an indoor swimming pool. Other plans include kayak facilities, a shooting range and new spray parks. The proposed tax would also provide funding for maintenance.

Two council members who voted against the proposed tax, Bryan Melancon and Todd Lambert, say they polled their constituents and they do not want this tax.

"Most of them are elderly and live in a rural area and they like to keep the community parks," said Lambert. "What's happening here is the majority of this money is going to Lamar Dixon."

The parish sets aside about $2.5 million a year for recreation. If the tax is passed, that money would go back into the general fund.

The tax will be on the ballot this November.

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