Aquarium continues to owe money while business booms

Local

The Shreveport Aquarium opened in November, but it continues to owe thousands to subcontractors.

Shreveport Aquarium officials said the business is doing well, even better than expected, despite the handful of lien notices that total more than 300-thousand dollars.
 
Court documents show at least six companies have filed liens on the Shreveport Aquarium, which is operated under the Planet Aqua Group Foundation. A seventh one was unverified by air time. 
    
Businesses include Hoogland’s Landscape which claims more than $62-thousand is owed. The highest amount owed is $91-thousand to Rimmer Electric in Shreveport. Documents show payments have been made so far to the Payne Company, upwards of $300-thousand with $67-thousand still owed. 

The lien amounts have increased by about $60-thousand since our last interview with Planet Aqua officials in December. The spokesperson said their position is the same.

“We want to make sure that everyone is taken care of so we’re working with Wieland-Davco, who is the general contractor on the project to make sure that any lien or outstanding invoice that is out is satisfied and paid in full,” said Jake Wood, Shreveport Aquarium spokesperson. 

Wood said they are committed with every intention to pay subcontractors as soon as possible. He said construction costs went over budget, which is not uncommon, and enhanced exhibit features, added to the debt. Wood said there’s hurdles as a new business, but they’ve invested millions into this project and plan to be in Shreveport for the long-term.
 
He said more than 55-thousand people have visited since opening on November 1, which surpasses expectations. Based on those numbers, Wood said they hope to complete payments faster. We did reach out to companies who filed liens and have not heard back yet.
 

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