NHDDC talks budget at its June meeting

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The Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission talked about its budget at its meeting June 15.

Each year the NHDDC approves its yearly budget allocating funds for Administration Expenses, Streetscape/Landscape, Markering/Redevelopment and Special Events and Projects. For the past four years the NHDDC has received their capped amount of $360,000 from Louisiana’s Visitor Enterprise Fund to divide amongst its projects.

“A lot of people think that their tax dollars go to the hanging baskets downtown but it is really the state portion of the hotel motel tax that goes to beautification of downtown,” said David Stamey. “There was a house bill that wanted to defund commissions like these and that didn’t get off the ground but because the house is still in session and there is the chance of cutbacks we are going to work with 85 percent of our predicated budget. We don’t want to promise people money we can’t deliver.”

That leaves the NHDDC with $306,000 to budget for annual expenses. NHDDC receives their funding over four quarters.

“If we are funded fully we will put that 15 percent in reserve and talk about what to do with it in our January meeting,” said Stamey.
“This year the reserve money went to marketing. That doesn’t mean that next year the money couldn’t go towards special events or somewhere else.”

“There are still categories that have funds available in the 2016-2017 budget but for the most part they are all accounted for,” said Stamey. “We will need to clean up this budget and nothing will be changed to the proposed 2017-2018 except adding the money remaining from this past year. We try to spend everything we get each year. Our mission is to spend money, not hold on to money, but spend it where it needs to be spent within the district.”

Jim Rhodes inquired about rolling over the estimated $10,000 into the “Other Special Projects” budget. The board recalled times in the past the unforeseen events and incidents came up where they were able to use “Other Special Projects” to help the community.

“It needs to be where we can get to it,” said Sharon Gahagan.

The board approved the budget and the roll over.

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