They will begin asking businesses to contribute money to help keep alliance operating in future

By Chris Rosa Managing Editor

The Vermilion Economic Development Alliance is trying to come up with creative ways to raise money in order to continue to grow. The Alliance has been in existence in the parish for at least three years and it’s run by director Anne Falgout, who has a salary of $76,000 a year.

For the first three years, government officials throughout the parish committed a total of more than $110,000 a year for three years to get the alliance off the ground and running. The three years are up and now many government entities are not recommitting any more money to keep the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance operating. Because of that, Falgout and her board of directors are searching for ways to raise money.

Based on the financial report, however, the economic development alliance was in good financial shape heading into the 2018 year. The report shows there was $376,000 in three separate accounts at the end of 2017.

At its monthly meeting on Monday, the board and Falgout talked about asking businesses in Vermilion Parish to contribute money to the alliance’s budget. Each board member has the challenge of asking three businesses in their area to donate money. At the meeting on Monday, some board members gave a report of the people they contacted. Board member Richard Guilbeaux explained to board members to try and get a commitment of anywhere from $500 to $2,500 a year from businesses.

The board members and Falgout have pamphlets they plan to bring with them when they visit each business, educating the business owner on what is economic development and why it is good for the parish. The board already received a $2,500 a year commitment from a business in Kaplan. Here are the members of the economic development alliance board and what government entity they represent. These are board members on the board until August of 2019:

  • Kirk Frith (Sheriff’s Office)
  • Richard Guilbeaux (School Board)
  • Carlton Campbell (Abbeville Harbor & Terminal District)
  • Tammy Gordon (Town of Delcambre)

Here are the rest of the board members and who assigned them to the board.

  • Police Jury – Gerrod Brasseux (Replaced Paul Bourgeois), Dane Hebert, Patrick Duhon, Jason Picard and Aidan Broussard
  • Village of Maurice – Megan Landry-LaLande
  • City of Kaplan – Christine Trahan (Replaced Ms. Pat Rost)
  • Town of Gueydan – Diana Gale Smith
  • Town of Erath – Jacob Landry
Originally published in the Abbeville Meridional, June 7, 2018