04 August 2006

video: red river commerce potential unrealized

tuesday we were watching channel 4 the city of alexandria public access tee vee channel. we were waiting to see if that days city council meeting was going to be televised because we werent sure if the meetings were broadcast a week behind or on the same day or live or what. so we found out that the city council meeting is broadcast that day they might broadcast the meeting live and then rebroadcast it immediately after however before the council meeting was televised [which turned out to be that days (01 august 2006) meeting] channel 4 was televising a meeting of alexandria's economic development committee meeting. as it turned out we caught the tail end of the commitee meeting but we were fortunate to see a mr. guillory address the alexandria economic development committee. (then channel 4 showed the city council meeting.)

mr. guillory put on a well thought out and passionate explanation to the committee that alexandria is missing a golden opportunity to spur economic development downtown using the red river as the drawing card. for instance mr. guillory said that if there was a pier boats could pull in and take on fuel - seems like he said that it cost him around $700.00 to fill up. additionally whilst the ships captains were filling up on fuel they could be pumping out their bilges this would generate another fee. and also they could go over into downtown and shop. also there are slip rental fees, dockside services, all kinda things they (the city etc) can do and charge for.

mr. guillory went on to say that since this houseboat controversy came to be that he and some others had been in contact with another city that part was muddled but seems like he said natchitoches - (cane river the way they have it set up downtown is wonderful by the way) and this city said sure they were welcome there and to come on over and they would do whatever they needed to do to make them feel at home.

so how does alexandria respond? see City of Alexandria planning for indoor sports arena

.pdf file here

the reason the politicians would choose a sports complex instead is pretty obvious. with this "project" everyone is insured a piece of taxpayer pie. think about it all the architects, engineers, dirt work, cement, plumbing, heating and cooling, the appliances dealers, and on an on. with a pier on the other hand whats that? its a long piece of concrete that dont cost that much money. if you're a politician another downside is that you cant control the money from it. in other words if they build it the restauranteurs, and shop keepers will make the money instead instead of all your pals in the engineering, architecture firms, contractors etc you see. we cant be sure that a well thought out and constructed pier in downtown alexandria will generate zillions of dollars into the economy but it could be a source of steady 24x 7 commerce streams providing funds to downtown entrepreneurs. a sports complex is destined to fail and its just a pretense for a slush fund. everyone knows that people around here dont go to things.

as you watch kalb's vid listen to mr chuck fine one of the guys who has a boat down there. we wish we had to post mr. guillory's 01 august 2006 comment to alexandria's economic development committee. anyway, in our view the proposed sports complex should be pulled and attention should shift towards developing a pier along the red.
"they need to leave the boats alone until they have a marina i see condo's, i see restaurants, i see walks, i see all the things that would bring the people...iam just hoping that with this election coming that people will see the same thing that i see and theres other people here that see it." ~ chuck fine
we see it too mr. fine and mr. guillory; thank you for speaking out.

related post:
  • video: is downtown alexandria dead?
  • ====
    see also
    cenlamar: city of alexandria planning for downtown indoor sports arena
    the alexandria riverfront center
    edited 1:57 pm cdt saturday 05 august 2006