How to spend hydro funds is topic of Town Hall sessions

Published 9:10 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — The Town of Vidalia is hosting two public meetings next week to discuss how the extra spending money from hydroelectric royalties generated from power sold at the Sidney A. Murray Jr. Hydroelectric Station should be spent.

Both meetings are scheduled for 5 p.m. on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24 at the Town Council Chambers.

A town ordinance dictates that the funds shall be spent on “projects deemed to be in the best public interest,” which are determined by at least two annual public hearings on the matter.

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Last year, Vidalia paid off $12 million in municipal debt and funded several projects with the surplus funds.

Projects approved last year but not finished, including the proposed plans for Polk Park, remain on the list, Mayor Buz Craft said.

An initial rendering for Polk Park, a recreational area adjacent to the Vidalia municipal complex, was done back in 2011.

However, officials have since revisited and revised that design based on community interests to include a skate park, disk golf course, walking and bicycle trails and a splash pad as well as three to four pavilions and four playground areas.