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News Detail

30

Sep, 2020

Changes Coming to Judice Park

Dear Judice Community,

We wanted to inform you about the opportunity presented to Southwest Athletics (SWA) by the Lafayette Parish Government. Now that the city and parish have split their government, the city will no longer fund the parish parks. Currently in regards to taxes that are allocated to parks and recreation, the city has a tax whereas the parish does not. An ordinance was presented on several occasions to add this tax to the parish but has failed each time. With this being said, parish parks will no longer receive funds from the government to help maintain our parks. In 2019 voters approved redirecting money from the library to fund parish parks for capital improvements, operational, and maintenance expenses. The money in this proposal – there is $30k coming from Create and $570,412.00 coming from the rededication of library funds. We are being told that once the money runs out our park is in jeopardy of closing. The Lafayette Parish Government has presented us with the following options with regards to operating our park:

1. Take the lump sum from the create money mentioned early and form our own entity.

2. Leave the park as is and run manage it as it currently stands until the funds are gone. Once the money is gone, the government will then decide the fate of our park. Our board has been consulting with an attorney to help us get a better understanding of what is presented to us. This will be a tough decision for our board to make but know that we are asking all the necessary questions, the what ifs on if we decide to move forward as our own entity or if we decide to leave the park as is. We are not taking this decision lightly. We have been given a time frame to make a decision by October 31st as the new budget for the parish starts November 1st.

Just understand that parks and recs will not be considered in the new budget. There are pros and cons to this acquisition. Listed below are a few of our main focuses

Pros: We can take the money given to us and put it in short term CDs or bonds to earn interest on the money in holding. We cannot put this money in stocks as it has a potential to lose money but were given the ok on guaranteed interest bearing funds. This will help us with the longevity of our park. If the parish holds this money, it sits in a non interest bearing account.  We can allow the middle school baseball and softball to practice on our fields during our offseason with use of lights. Before they would have to go through the parish where this decision was not an option.

Cons: Our player counts collectively are declining. So registration alone will not be able to support all expenses that will be added to our facility.
 Community support as we do not receive enough donations throughout the year to help cover the extra expenses.
 Will we have enough volunteers going forward to help with any fundraisers or tournaments that we will need to have to keep our park running longer? If our board members decide to accept the acquisition, the park would no longer be considered a public park but a privately owned park. You will still be allowed to walk the track, play on the basketball and tennis courts as you do currently. We will continue to offer recreation sports. We will have to start charging for select teams to practice on our fields for a small fee but now they have the options to use the lights. Our rec teams will always receive priority of our fields over select teams when we are in season. We encourage our community to express concerns with our board. We will have our next monthly meeting on Sunday October 4th at 5:00 pm at Judice Park.

If you cannot attend this meeting, please feel free to reach out to us preferably by email at [email protected] or message us through Facebook. Please be mindful that our board members are volunteers and we all work full time. You may call us, but know that we may not be able to answer right away. Please leave us a message with a phone number to return your call. We will keep you updated via our website clubs.bluesombrero.com/swathelticsla and Facebook. We just felt that it was best you hear it from us before it gets out to the public through the parish committee meetings.

Thanks as always SWA Board Members

Contact

Southwest Athletics
https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/swathleticsla 
Duson, Louisiana 70529

Email: [email protected]

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