Cameron considers funding for parish development study

By 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.’ ”