LSN STAFF WRITER
RAYNE – Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law House Resolution No. 503 by Representative Jack Montoucet that changes the name of the Acadia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau and provides additional powers.
The Bureau will now formally be known as a Commission.
The Commission was also given additional powers relative to debt, funds, property and contracting, as well as the authority to issue bonds and certificates of indebtedness.
Previously, the Acadia Parish Police Jury was required to authorize bonds for the Commission. As an example, Commission Executive Director Gwen Hanks pointed to the construction of the tourist center on Tower Road. Hanks noted that the Police Jury recently transferred full ownership of the visitors’ center to the Commission, which paid off the bonds one year ahead of schedule.
The Tourist Commission recently agreed to purchase 7.04 acres of land abutting the right-of-way south of the Commission’s tourist center on Tower Lane as a future site of a convention center and offices for economic development. The purchase agreement was with Sulphur County, L.L.C. located in Saipan for $570,000. The State Bond Commission approved that loan amount during its April meeting.
The Commission is funded in part by a four percent occupancy tax levied on parish hotels, motels and overnight camping facilities.