The Shreveport city council has approved 17 Shreveport Parks and Recreation (SPAR) cooperative endeavor agreements in its first 4 months.
SPAR support can include portalets, golf cars, stages, trash cans, tables and chairs, podium and sound system, barricades, clean up, and personnel. The agreements can also fund services from Shreveport Police Department, Traffic and Engineering, and/or Streets and Drainage.
Each resolution includes the rental cost of the equipment and the direct labor costs.
The total cost/expenses of these 17 approvals exceeded $132 grand.
Sixteen of these agreements were passed unanimously, without any council discussion.
However the request for SPAR support for Crawfest was closely scrutinized and criticized. This request was valued at $10,980.96.
Ultimately it was approved with a required payback provision if the revenues to the organizers exceeded a stated minimum. This is the first time the council has ever made this requirement.
Crawfest organizers were dissed because they were a “for profit” venture. Ultimately they decided to forego the requested SPAR assistance.
Crawfest is a free event—no cost to attend. The estimated attendance for the March two day event was in excess of 15,000.
But guess what?
Other requests for SPAR support from “for profit” organizations were approved with no repayment provisions.
Sportspectrum was approved for $8250 for a triathlon to be held at Cypress Lake, which is in Bossier Parish. Entrants to this event must pay a $110 race fee and a $6.60 signup fee. Registration is limited to 700. There was no reimbursement rider on this resolution approval.
Sportspectrum was also approved for SPAR assistance valued at $5600 for 5 road (runner) races. Each of these events have an entry fee. Again, there was no reimbursement rider on this resolution approval.
KTBS was approved for SPAR assistance valued at $32,800 for the riverfront Independence Day celebration. KTBS is a “for profit” business. Attendance is free.
Other events approved this year—with no requirement for reimbursement:
African American Celebration Corporation for the African American Parade $29,345
Robinson’s Rescue Best in Sheaux $1764
(tickets must be purchased)
Aseana Foundation $6401.96
(2 events - free admission)
Barksdale Air Force Base Air Show $11,000
Shreveport Green for Great American Cleanup $1134.10
(no participation fee)
Mt. Olive Baptist Church $320
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration $384
(no tickets required)
North Shreveport Business Association $2475
(2 events - tickets must be purchased)
South Highland Neighborhood Association Spring Fling $1922.48
Southern Hills Music in the Park $2935.60
Red River Balloon Rally $11636.80
La. Film Fest for Taco Wars $4562
Criteria should be set to determine the type of events that receive SPAR/city support. Additionally, the issue of “for profit” or “non profit” should be visited. Also, if requirements for reimbursement should be required.
Most of the events supported by SPAR have venues in only one council district versus being city-wide. At least ten events have been approved for SPAR support that were/will be held in council member Levette Fuller’s district. And there will be more this year.
Fuller was the author of the Crawfest amendment requiring reimbursement. Ideally, she will take the lead on this needed review and establishment of criteria for SPAR supported events.