May 29, 2013 7:31 PM by Akeam Ashford
The St. Landry Parish Government will place a 2-cent sales tax on the October ballot. If passed, the money will be used to improve more than 700 miles of parish roads.
Currently, the parish uses the following three separate revenue streams to maintain its roads: a transportation tax on gas sales which brings in $800,000 annually. The second source is video poker, which brings in $500,000. Finally, Racino funds add $1.6 million for road maintenance. This adds up to just over $3.1 million total, for road maintenance. The question many people have is, "why can't you fix the roads with this money?"
Parish President Bill Fontenot, says while the parish has the $3.1 million, "you have to think about all the expenses such as: vehicles, gas, material costs, and labor. With the very meager attempt that can be used to repair roads with the money available can only be some pot-hole patching. We really can't do any overlays that would be substantial."
Fontenot says the state set up the current funding plan, and can change it at any time. In the proposed sales tax, only the residents can vote to make changes to the tax, insuring enough money will be around for road maintenance. If the tax is passed, the parish has plans to begin road improvements in the spring.