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Parish economic district funds slim

VIDALIA — Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District Director Heather Malone will be spending the next few days deciding what can stay and what has to go from her budget.

The CPEIDD board has until the end of the month to adopt a budget for the coming fiscal year, and times are lean. The proposed budget on the table stands at $148,000, but with a projection of $100,000 in incoming revenue.

“I was going to go back through (the budget) again and see what we can cut out,” Malone said. “I was talking to (the board) about goals and seeing what we could do for the next coupe of years and make sure our budget reflects those goals.”

The slimmer budget means that some things will now be done in-house. For example, Malone said she had hoped to hire a professional consultant to make a targeted marketing campaign for the area.

“I will probably, for at least this year, do that on my own,” she said. “I know the State of Louisiana has a targeted marketing plan for the state, and that is broken down into regions, and I will break that down into the two regions with which we identify.”

For the time being, Malone said rather than marketing in professional publications, she will work to produce short pieces of literature marketing each municipality or area of the parish so she will have something on hand if anyone calls about a prospect.

She’ll also be sure to maintain working relationships with the economic development bodies of the surrounding areas.

“We will be making sure we maintain a strong relationship with the regions around us so they can be a cheerleader while they are out and about,” she said. “We are going to have to rely on our larger partners.”

Other cost-saving measures are less noticeable — the office won’t be getting letterhead with its logo on it, and professional development may be attending meetings organized by other bodies.

“This is a time where everybody in the world is cutting back, and we are no different,” Malone said.

A portion of the collections from the parish hotel-motel tax funds the CPEIDD. Revenues from those allocations have been less than expected.

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