The Caddo Commission has been increasing its spending, but the number of organizations and programs asking for cash has exploded.
"Normally, in a regular year, we would get requests from a million dollars worth of organizations," Commission President Michael Thibodeaux said. "This year we got a request for over 4 million."
Thibodeaux says this increase is due to city, state and federal cut backs. The commission, on the other hand, is having a surplus, and they're spending a fraction of it. Thibodeaux says the commission's spending money isn't coming from the 50 million dollars built up in oil and reserves trust funds but their royalties.
"A majority of the money is coming from royalty income from our oil and gas leases," he said.
The money is also coming from the Riverboat Fund. Thibodeaux says the commission has about 3 million dollars from royalties and one and a half million from the Riverboat fund. However, the parish is being very selective when deciding who is getting the money. Commissioners, Thibodeaux says, are looking to spend on those who help others and those that are self sufficient and won't need more cash in the future. Those that can provide an economic boost for the area are the best candidates.
"We're looking for a return in jobs," Thibodeaux said. "Local jobs for economic development. That's why we gave to money to LSUS."
The commission will continue to spend. Southern University Shreveport could be granted 250 thousand dollars come Thursday's commission meeting. Thibodeaux says commissioners have agreed not to spend the 50 million in trust funds unless its for major projects that will benefit the parish as a whole.