Funding: Bond plan aims to speed up coastal projects

After years of threats to end a federal revenue-sharing program from Gulf of Mexico oil leases, Terrebonne Parish has decided to take a proactive measure to ensure the parish receives over $16 million in oil revenue money.

Parish President Gordy Dove said the parish has successfully bonded out $16.8 million in Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act money to use for hurricane protection and coastal restoration projects.

Typically, the parish receives about $1.2 million annually from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, Dove said.

However, Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have attempted to end the federal program that funnels revenues from Gulf of Mexico oil leases to four states -- Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation have been able to keep the money in place, for now. Rather than risk losing the annual payments in the future, Dove said the parish decided to issue these high-risk bonds now to speed up several projects.

Under the bond agreement, the parish will receive $14.6 million up front to use for various coastal protection projects, plus $1.2 million in a reserve fund by the end of the deal, Dove said. The rest of the money goes for the bond attorney and other fees.

Bond investors will earn a 5.5 percent interest rate.

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