LETTER: Public deserves truth on LDEC

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

I have followed the development of the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center for some time stretching back to previous administrations. I truly believe that this facility is a valuable asset to our community and brings in numerous groups who, in turn, spend their money in this parish and fill our tax coffers for the use of all, primarily the City of Gonzales.

However, lately, no one has raised the issue of the stringent requirements placed by the Lamar-Dixon Foundation on potential uses of this facility, even after the sale.

As I understand it, a major percentage of the facility’s use would have to be reserved for 4-H-type activities. This requirement even includes the undeveloped acreage. A sewer treatment facility would be in violation of this restriction and could nullify the sale. The wonderful park proposal for this area could violate this requirement and void the sale.

The public, especially before voting on any increase in taxes, should be told the truth and not just get a rosy picture of potential in the facility.

If purchased with our tax dollars, as it currently stands, a private group of individuals, namely the Lamar-Dixon Foundation Board, would have control over how our tax dollars would be utilized. This group would be unaccountable. I personally would rather have someone answerable, through the power of the ballot, for how my tax dollars are spent. I am uncomfortable having someone unelectable and unaccountable for the expenditure of my tax dollars.

Finally, the current use of the center as a trailer park could already be interpreted as a violation of our current lease with the facility, since this does nothing to further 4-H activities for this areas children.

The public deserves to know the full truth before making any decision, especially one to increase our tax burden.

Keith D. Crawford