Mar 24, 2010 6:05 PM by Kate Mundy
A proposed sports complex for Northwest Acadia Parish is closer to reality. Wednesday, the Acadia Parish Police Jury voted to move forward with applying for a federal 50-50 grant. The other half would be up to homeowners.
"It's gonna be a facility that's second to none," said Iota Mayor John Sittig. He is excited about the proposed new recreation complex. He helped bring the old ballpark to Iota more than 35 years ago. But time has taken its toll on the facility and its lights. "The lighting has been through a number of hurricanes and they just keep fixing it but it's difficult," said Frederick "Fritz" Welter.
The Rec Department shares the fields with Iota High School and students from St. Francis. "We're trying to share all these fields during the day, there's no way to play games at night and it's just, it's time to upgrade," said Corey Miller of the Northwest Acadia Sports Authority, Inc.
The land belongs to an adjacent church. Their future plans include expanding the cemetery there. So now, the Northwest Acadia Sports Authority is looking south. The proposal is to move the fields across a nearby bayou, to 24 1/2 acres of donated land.
There are six fields in the new plans, a possible soccer/football practice field and more than 250 parking spaces."We're trying to get a track out there, a mile long track, we're trying to get a civic center, a playground park, things that this town needs," said Miller.
If the Acadia Parish Police Jury can secure a federal grant, parish taxpayers in wards four and seven will be asked to pass a four-mills property tax. Iota sports park planners say it would be about 30-dollars a year on a 150-thousand dollar home. But they say, the result will be priceless for generations to come.
They're hoping to take the tax issue to the polls as early as the fall elections. Construction could begin in 18 months if it's approved.