BP offers to invest $68,828.96 in Acadia’s tourism recovery
By: Paul Kedinger
By PAUL KEDINGER
Members of the Acadia Parish Tourist Commission learned Thursday morning that British Petroleium (BP) has allocated $68,828.96 toward endeavors to increase tourism in this area.
Executive Director Gwen Hanks revealed that news contained in a letter from Lt. Gov. Scott A. Angelle, addressed to the Acadia Parish Police Jury.
Angelle announced BP has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, securing an additional $30 million for tourism recovery. Earlier, BP released $15 million in tourism recovery grants.
To qualify for the grant, the Tourism Commission must adhere to a process which includes presenting a pairsh plan to the firm. BP will be given an opportunity to comment on those plans before the funds are released to the parish commission.
The tourism grants to individual parishes were secured by the Lt. Governor’s office to offset the loss of tourism revenues following the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill.
As Angelle wrote, “After over 100 days of negative visual coverage, the Louisiana tourism brand was tarnished. Potential vacationears canceled plans, restaurants stopped serving Louisiana seafood and the perception existed that our state was dirty and covered with oil.”
BP’s grants to neighboring parishes were Allen Parish, $19,151.70; Avoyelles, $$31,841.13; Evangeline, $26,940.99; Jefferson Davis, $35,789.73; St. Landry, $86,715.96; St. Martin, $59,292.92 and Lafayette, $$235,150.12.
In other business, Commission members approved the Building Committee’s recommendation to hire Trey Trahan, an Acadia native, as the architect for its proposed convention center. Trahan’s contract for $50,000 includes both a conceptual plan and cost estimates.
The commissioners also approved the committee’s plans to hire the Moore Group to prepare a brochure to be distributed to state legislators to further’s the Commission request for $3 million in capital outlay funding.