Outside the box


There are times when you have to give politicians credit for thinking outside of the box and this is one of those times. Mayor Posey, the City Finance Director Pat Jones and Assistant Director Shawna Straub have done just that when coming up with a way to fund a new sports complex and fund some needed capital improvements without raising any new taxes. The City of Natchitoches has a one cent dedicated sales tax that has been on the books since the sixties that funds sewer and water projects that has served it’s purpose but has now built up a reserve. The Mayor would like to rededicate one half cent of this tax to fund a new sports complex and capital projects in streets, drainage, parks and recreation facilities, buildings, sewer and waterworks facilities. If approved by the City Council the rededication of this sales tax will be held on April 9th.

This new sports complex will be a joint endeavor between Northwestern State University and the City of Natchitoches that will provide a sports facility that will meet the needs of intramural activities at Northwestern and give the City of Natchitoches a top notch recreational complex that will give the City the ability to draw events from all over the state and beyond. This project will be done in phases and, when completed, will be a multi faceted complex that will provide a wide ranging recreational experience for all the citizens of Natchitoches.

When looking at how the Mayor and his team looked beyond a tax increase to get things done for Natchitoches, now is the time for citizens to start asking how we can apply this same technique to all governmental bodies in Natchitoches Parish; how they are funded, and if we can rededicate some of these tax dollars to more essential uses. The citizens of Natchitoches fund several governmental agencies that receive millions in local taxpayers dollars that have built up huge reserves over the years.  In this time where the taxpayers of Natchitoches Parish are at their limit, we need to look at all these agencies to see if we can still afford them or downsize them.  None of these governmental bodies should be off limits to review and we are not saying that they are not well run but here are just a few of the taxing bodies for example to consider:  the Ambulance service, Cane River Waterway Commission, Library, Council on Aging and Natchitoches Parish Port.  Again, when the taxpaying citizens are being asked to dig deep and pay more taxes to support government at all levels is it too much to ask that government at all levels make sure that our tax dollars are spent efficiently and wisely.

8 thoughts on “Outside the box

  1. If they have a reserve of money for the city of Natchitoches water then can someone answer the question as to why my water lines leading down my road are still above ground in three places and have been Luke that for a long time I have lived in the area for the last 5 years and have asked numerous times for them to be fixed and they have burst numerous times! I even call the before you dig number so I could install a fence in front of my property guess what no response from city of Natchitoches water and later found out why it’s because they don’t have one clue as to where the lines other than the ones above ground even are! Hmm imagine that!

  2. Let’s see…out of the box or in the dusty, overlooked corner of the box? This is the question to ponder. It sounds like the City of Natchitoches has already decided on the “Lee Posey Recreational Center” and now has to find a way for us to pay for it. Hmmm, let’s see, ah ha, a surplus in a dedicated fund. That’s it, let’s use that money, they will never miss it. You know, they are use to paying it and it would be a shame for us politicians to give it back to the people. We will just use that money for the little things we can’t justify raising taxes for. Brilliant!

    Seriously, it does seem as though the decision has been made on the joint venture and the mayor and his staff are thinking out of the box. Or are they really? This has been done by almost every governing body since our nation was founded. Heck, even the US Congress has done it. How did that work out for Social Security and Medicare systems? I will say that they may be on to something though. If the 20 year forecasted expenditures are in line to take half of the incoming revenues then it is worth looking at. But with far more restrictions on the funds than they listed here. Would it be better to use the funds for high priority items? The article above states “The City of Natchitoches has a one cent dedicated sales tax that has been on the books since the sixties that funds sewer and water projects that has served it’s purpose but has now built up a reserve. The Mayor would like to rededicate one half cent of this tax to fund a new sports complex and capital projects in streets, drainage, parks and recreation facilities, buildings, sewer and waterworks facilities.”. HOW ABOUT REMOVING THE WORDS ” a new sports complex and parks and recreation facilities, buildings” from the proposition and going forward with it? It makes more sense to use the reserve for these items only. Wow, better streets, better drainage and even upgrading water lines in areas that are under supplied, POSEY ROAD, comes to mind.

    Just because there is a reserve, surplus, or what ever you want to call money, that is setting in the dusty corner, you don’t have to spend it on a shiny new sports complex. Use it to better what we already have. These higher priority items can be done faster with the extra funding. Better roads, drainage, sewer and waterworks facilities just make sense. You know, sense that should be common.

  3. How about using that dedicated money to replace the water line that keeps busting on Hwy 504 between 3191 and Carmane Road instead of the numerous patch jobs over the last year? Then there’s the water line on Johnson Chute that’s so small that no new water meters are being permitted which means no new homes. Replacing old failing infrastructure is much more important!

  4. Hey mayor, I reside in Shamard subdivision and pay my taxes. How about you use some of that”surplus” money to fix the huge hole that’s all of about 6 feet deep on our street? There’s been a cone and now a barrier there for over a week and a half!
    I couldn’t care less about a sports complex in this town, but I DO care that our streets are horrible and remain in I’ll repair for weeks at a time!

    Angry Shamard resident

  5. Outside the box??? No, this is typical politician shenanigans. Read the title of the existing tax
    D E D I C A T E D ded·i·cat·ed (of a thing) exclusively allocated to or intended for a particular service or purpose.
    I wish I still had the suspension part that broke on my car driving down Williams Ave. some years ago. It would be exhibit 1 of why to use the surplus on infrastructure.
    Government has no business in real estate development but should support individuals who do. This is not ancient Rome; the people do not need to be entertained. Mr. Posey, quit thinking that everyone obsesses on sports and focus on the purpose of government.

  6. Since the natatorium at NSU closed and a pool wasn’t included at the WRAC, this new sports complex would be the perfect venue for an indoor pool. Year-round swimming and water aerobics would be much-needed, health-enhancing options for all area citizens.

  7. If as much effort was put into raising money for INFRASTRUCTURE instead of some useless ref center that only a few people could use, then we’d have some of the best roads around. How about putting that money to work fixing our streets?!

  8. Would like to see the Sports Complex have a indoor heated pool so that the senior citizens would have a place to have water aerobics and swimming in the cooler months. It would also be good to have for the people who get hurt in sports and can use it for rehab purposes. We need something for the senior citizens of Natchitoches.

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