CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The future of Caddo Parish public facilities and recreation is uncertain.
Voters will decide on election day, next Tuesday, whether or not to renew a .83 millage, or tax, which funds 98 percent of Caddo’s parks and its operations.
“This is what enables our parks and recreation department to continue to operate,” said Douglas Dominick, Caddo Parish Commission president. “This is a quality of life situation.”
The millage has funded Caddo Parish’s programs, parks and facilities for 30 years.
Caddo Parish voters have the choice of renewing the millage every ten years. Dominick said the cost in nominal to residents, with the average homeowner paying between $6 and $10 annually.
“If it doesn’t pass, then you’re not going to see near the level of services and the things we’ve been able to continue to do,” Dominick said. “We are being positive and we think it’ll pass.”
According to Caddo Parish officials, 18 jobs are in jeopardy if the voters choose not to renew the millage. Parish parks could fall into a state of decay.
“I think it’s something we’ll have to look at,” Dominick said. “We have several employees, including several naturalists, that are working there and reaching out to the citizens during different events."
Kirsten Ornelas, a Bossier Parish resident, visits Walter B. Jacobs park a couple of times per month with her daughter, Alice. She loves the youth programs offered by the parish, but is concerned about the longevity of the parks.
“There’s nothing like this around the area,”Ornelas said. “Not having this place, there’s not a whole lot that Bossier Parish has, there’s not a lot that non-Caddo Parish parks offer.”
Though Dominick is optimistic voters will choose to renew the millage, he has a message for voters: go to the polls on Tuesday.
“Please go on November 6 and please vote ‘yes’ for our tax renewal," Dominick said.