West Bank Carnival Krewes Alla & Cleopatra Could Get Parish Money
Two West Bank krewes would receive a total of $25,000 from Jefferson Parish for this year’s Carnival parades under agreements the Parish Council is expected to approve Wednesday. But a separate item on the agenda would ban such expenditures in the future.
The Krewe of Alla would receive $15,000 while Cleopatra would get $10,000 in hotel and motel tax revenue under resolutions proposed by Councilman Chris Roberts, who has steered parish funding to West Bank krewes since 2005.
The practice would be banned under an ordinance proposed by Councilman Byron Lee, who wants to prohibit the parish from entering into such cooperative endeavor agreements with krewes, festivals and social clubs.
Lee did not immediately return a call seeking comment on his rationale for the restrictions.
Roberts said he expects Lee’s proposal to be deferred, saying it has “no chance of passing as it is written.”
“I’m not sure where he’s coming from with this,” Roberts said. “This would eliminate the Gretna Heritage Festival, the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo and pretty much all other tourism-related events that have received parish funds.”
He also said Lee’s proposal conflicts with a state law regulating how hotel and motel tax revenue can be spent.
“You can’t take that money and pave a street or make drainage improvements,” Roberts said. “It has to be used to promote tourism and economic development.”
Roberts said West Bank krewes have received similar amounts in recent years from his district’s roughly $100,000 share of the tax revenue. He said the Krewe of Choctaw has not yet approached him for funding this year.