The Cajun RVera project, behind the SugArena in New Iberia, was awarded more than $300,000 in loans on Wednesday evening following a 10 to 2 vote from the Parish Council.
“We knew going in some of the costs wouldn't necessarily be overrun because the state rates were changed, regulations in baton rouge have changed and we have to be in compliance,” says Iberia Parish Council Member Bernard Broussard.
Broussard even says the council is partly responsible for the Acadiana Fairgrounds Commission having to come back for more money and pushing back their opening day almost five months.
“Bear in mind some of the overruns are at the council's request. We said instead of putting in limestone roadway,s put in asphalt. We knew those things those things the council mandated upon the original bid process, which increased the costs. If you back those numbers out were actually about where we should be on the original bid,” says Broussard.
But he says the costs are worth the spoil.
“This will actually allow this facility to become self-sufficient and not dip into other funds like it is now,” says Broussard.
Karl Vincent, chairman of the Acadiana Fairgrounds Commission and the Cajun RVera project, says he will continue to cut costs—like the $300,000 he shaved off the cost of the pool through re-negotiation—and hopefully not come back for any more money.
“I would love to say ‘yes,' but no promises. I'd like to come back and say something happened, we don't need $20,000 or $50,000 or $100,000. You know, look, it's the nature of the beast,” says Vincent.