City-Parish government typically pays an annual $500,000 subsidy to the Cajundome. Tonight, the council will consider allocating an additional $250,000 to help the cash-strapped dome make it through its fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31. The dome is facing a perfect storm of financial woes, including a major hike in property insurance, a court-mandated requirement to pay sales tax on revenue, the loss of UL’s football and baseball concessions contract, minimum wage increases, increased production costs and event cancellations stemming from the national recession.
Cajundome Director Greg Davis has been meeting individually with council members about the issue. Reached this morning, council chairman Purvis Morrison says he supports giving the dome the money. “I can’t tell you what the other council members feel but I have no problem with it,” Morrison says. “I sat with Mr. Davis and he opened his books and showed their performance and how he has tried other measures before coming to us and asking for extra money. He’s laid people off, part time and full time people, and cut back on certain things in the operation.” Morrison also notes that the $250,000 the dome is asking for will serve as a reserve-fund of sorts and that the dome may not have to tap the entire amount to get through the year. “We’re hoping that everything gets back to normal next year,” he adds.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.