Funds take $36K hit in 2002

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 19, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Despite fervent lobbying by rural legislators, the State of Louisiana’s budget for fiscal 2001-02 includes almost $3 million less for grants to rural areas – including $36,000 less for Concordia Parish.

About $2.8 million was cut from the $9 million that was originally budgeted for grants the office would make to rural areas in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

That means that each rural parish will receive about $30,000 less in funds from that office than it did in fiscal 2000-01, Nicholas Auck, the office’s field coordinator for northeast Louisiana, confirmed Monday afternoon.

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As it now stands, Concordia Parish and its towns will receive a total of about $93,000 in the next fiscal year – down from $129,000 in fiscal this fiscal year.

&uot;That’s the only way we’ve been able to afford a lot of the equipment we’ve gotten,&uot; said Charlie Blaney, president of the Concordia Parish Police Jury.

Blaney said he was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that the parish would lose such a large percentage of its Rural Development funds.

&uot;It’s always tough when you lose money, but the (state) budget’s tight, so I’m not surprised,&uot; he said.