Groups search for way to keep parish airport high

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 25, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Revenue isn’t flying into the Concordia Parish Airport these days – but those involved with the facility are searching for ways to bring in more cash.

&uot;We’ve got to come up with a way to produce more revenues,&uot; said Concordia Parish Police Juror Cathy Darden, chairman of the jury’s Airport Committee.

And toward that end, police jurors will meet with airport Manager Raymond Cowan and members of the airport’s board at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 to brainstorm ways to raise more money for the facility, which was built in the 1960s.

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The airport gained $24,751 in revenues in 1999 – mostly from Police Jury funds, petroleum product sales, rental and use fees.

Of that, it paid out $24,567 for such things as personnel, supplies, repairs and maintenance.

The airport’s balance in cash and certificates of deposit was just $1,257 at the end of 1999.

The airport does have $893,949 worth of fixed assets, including land and facilities, which Darden said was a positive sign. Still, she acknowledged that more cash needs to be raised.

In a Nov. 14 Police Jury meeting, jurors suggested using the airport to host events that require a large amount of space.

In particular, Police Juror Gene Allen suggested hosting classic car shows and similar events at the facility.

Cowan said he is in favor of that idea but wants to hear what suggestions the airport’s other stakeholders have for raising revenue.

&uot;And that’s what the Dec. 12 meeting is for,&uot; Cowan said on Friday.

In any case, Cowan said the parish cannot afford to close the facility altogether if it plans to continue trying to attract more industries.

&uot;If industries are going to come here, they’re going to need some place to land,&uot; he said.