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Decline in gaming revenue means less money for non-profits

Shreveport City Council debates how it will fund 26 civic organizations

A decline in gaming revenue hurts local non-profits. Gaming revenues are used to fund the area's civic organizations. With the decline, the city now has to decide how it will allocate funds.

Currently, non-profits have asked for $1,901,500. That’s up from $990,000 allocated last
year. Mayor Cedric Glover proposes allocating $945,100 for civic appropriations, and Riverfront Committee Chair Jeff Everson said that’s on par with what City Council will approve.

The city council is required to fund the Multicultural Center of the South $200,000
annually by law. It’s also required to fund the Neighborhood Investment
Program, which has requested $250,000 this year, up from $215,000 it received
last year.

This leaves about $500,000 for the other 24 non-profits that have applied for funding.
Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) alone has asked for $640,000. Executive
Director Pam Atchison said $340,000 of that money will be given to dozens of
the area’s arts organizations. The rest will be used to fund ArtSpace, UnScene
and events at Shreveport Commons, ArtBreak and its Artist Entrepreneurial
Training Program.     

Mayor Cedric Glover’s proposal is to give all non-profits 30 percent of the funds
they’ve asked for.

For the Providence House, Executive Director Simone Hennessee said that would be
devastating since it has requested $100,000. If it gets only 30 percent, that
would leave it with $30,000, which is half of what it received from the city
last year.

Councilman Jeff Everson, chair of the Riverfront Committee, said his committee will vote
on Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall whether to implement a new application process that was previously approved by city council but never implemented. If members vote in favor, then the non-profits will have to re-apply.

“ It’s a very similar application to what has already been filled out but it does require  little bit more supporting documentation and it makes it a more scientific review process,” said Everson.

The council will vote on the budget in December. Everson said it will likely approve the
total amount allocated to civic appropriations and then decide later how much funds will be allocated to specific organizations. According to Everson, organizations can still expect to receive their checks in April when they’re normally distributed.


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