Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Lafayette Parish Tax Dollars to NGOs?

Lafayette Parish Councilman William Theriot failed last month in an attempt to phase out parish expenditures to non-government organizations (NGOs) over a three year period.

During the debate, it was estimated by media and government officials that parish appropriations to NGOs total “only” about $500k per year.

But now, it appears an extra NGO, not previously discussed, has been approved to receive over $350k in parish funding.

Some residents near a proposed housing development raised questions about the notification process for such projects during Tuesday's City-Parish Council meeting.

The council ultimately agreed to allow the Zydeco Community Housing Development Organization, as well as three other groups, to receive the funds. Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux recused himself from the vote and Councilman William Theriot voted against the measure.

The Zydeco CHDO will receive $356,847 to acquire and develop land on which it plans to build about 28 single-family homes for low- to moderate-income families. The project is located along Louisiana Avenue, and nearby resident Alton Trahan said he and other residents only recently learned that a development was planned there.

So now it appears the price tag of taxpayer dollars going to non-government organizations this year will total at least $850,000 this year. How many more NOGs are going to pop up, separate form the usual NGO funding request process?

Councilman Theriot was the only parish councilman out of the 9 to vote against this appropriation, meanwhile, Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux, according to the above linked article, “recused” himself from voting.

Some speculate around town if Councilman Boudreaux is receiving monetary gifts from Zydeco CHDO and did not want any connection to the vote.

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