Hotel Motel tax passes, allows for a Conference Center to be built

Darian Graivshark
A daytime rendering of the PACE Center by Domain Architecture.

On the December 8 ballot, the 2 percent hotel motel tax was passed.

This tax will bring in a little over $500,000 dollars per year, and it is going towards the new Performing Arts, Conference and Event (PACE) Center.

During the Industrial Board meeting on December 12, members went over information regarding the PACE Center and proposed locations. The members include Claston Bernard, Janet Britton, Marie Broussard, Marcy LeBlanc, and Martha Collins.

Mayor Barney Arceneaux said, "The way we campaigned for the tax made a difference. We had councilmen, employees, and even good friends knocking on doors. When you explain something face-to-face with folks, they get a better sense of what something is about."

Councilman David Guitreau took part in the campaigning, and said, "We knocked on about 300 to 400 doors. We worked some weekends after we did weekdays, and spent 2 weeks in some areas. There were less than 1,000 voters, though, and the holidays and bad weather might've played a part in that."

There are at least two proposed site locations. One by Cabela's, which would be located alongside S. St. Landry Avenue by Lamar-Dixon and Cabela's Pkwy. The other would be between La. Highway 44 and W. Highway 30 inside Onsite Design's proposed development.

Domain Design Architecture of Baton Rouge will be responsible for the design of the PACE Center, though, whichever location it may end up at. Domain also designed the new library at Donaldsonville High School.

"Seeing it close to hotels, hospitals, and restaurants was our only requirement for proposed locations," Mayor Arceneaux said.

Scot Byrd, Secretary for the Industrial Board, said, "We're hoping to see the Center partnered with a full-service, or at least mid-service level, hotel that could provide catering. We've been waiting many years for a conference center, so we're glad to be moving forward."

February 1 will be the beginning of picking a location for the PACE Center. Then, the last week of February will be when the final selection of the location will occur.

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