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Cameron considers funding for parish development study

Last Modified: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:02 AM

By John Guidroz / American Press

CAMERON — Police jurors will decide next week whether to fund an estimated $151,000 in research studies for a nonprofit group that wants to know if enough residents would support several development projects in the parish.

Robert Kidder, project director for the group, Cameron Answers, updated the panel Wednesday on the particular studies outlined in the proposal. The group is proposing projects like a new marina, public beach, hotel and a shopping center.

The money, if allocated, would pay for a consumer research study, an economic impact study, a public marina consumer feasibility study, a best-use proposal and a master recommendation report.

According to a project summary, the consumer study would use surveys to find out which amenities would entice people to return to Cameron and also understand their attitudes about economic development in the parish.

The group recommends Loren C. Scott, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University, for the economic development study. The study will use statistics to “determine a baseline for economic growth,” and “test the impact of new business, industry and travel” in the parish, according to the report.

The marina study will include email and phone surveys asking boat owners and licensed fishermen if better fishing facilities would attract more visitors to Cameron.

The estimated costs for the studies are $18,000 for consumer research; $24,000 for economic impact; $18,000 for the public marina consumer research study; and $55,000 for the best-use proposal. The master recommendation report has an estimated cost of $36,000.

Police Jury President Darryl Farque said several Southwest Louisiana state lawmakers recently told him they support the group’s proposal. They include House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, Rep. Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur and Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings.

Parish Administrator Tina Horn said residents asked her about the proposal after the Fur and Wildlife Festival parade earlier this month.

“Usually ... I get hit up for shells on the driveway or a culvert that needs fixing,” she said. “But they were actually talking about this, which surprised me. They were (saying), “We’ve been needing something like this.’ ”

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