Dec 16, 2010 7:55 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Vermilion Plans for BP Money

All 9 parishes in Acadiana will receive a portion of over $2 Million from BP to promote tourism. That announcement was made last month. But, so far no parish has received any of that money, because it comes with some strings attached.

Here's a breakdown of BP's grants to Acadiana Parishes:
Evangeline: $26,940.90
Jefferson Davis: $35,789.70
St. Martin: $59,292.92
St. Landry: $86,715.96
Acadia: $68,828.96
Lafayette: $235,150.12
Iberia: $500,000.00
St. Mary: $500,000.00
Vermillion: $500,000.00

The Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission says it already has plans in place for the half million dollars allocated for their parish. But, they say those plans have to first be approved by the state, then by BP too. The plans must also meet specific guidelines that have yet to be established.

"We have a limited budget," said Allison Miller with the Vermillion Parish Tourist Commission. "So, receiving $500,000 is like winning the lottery for us."

Miller says the commission has already met with city mayors and the police jury to put together their plans for the money. Even though the funds won't be used until 2011, they want to be ready to hit the ground running.

"What we know is that the money will be given out over 18 months. BP and the state both have to approve the plans submitted by each parish," said Miller. "Hopefully gain some more tourists that have never been to this area. They get to experience our food our culture and all the things we love to do every single day."

Even though there are some road blocks on the way to receiving the money, the tourist commission is hoping to put that money to work once it's in the bank.

"Somehow we will be able to help the restaurants, attractions, hotels, campgrounds, festivals... You know, $500,000 is a lot of money."

The Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission says there will be new marketing ads promoting the parish that will air on television, radio and online throughout the nation. They should start running by next summer.



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