Krewe of Hercules to take over Houma arena lease

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HOUMA, La. (AP) — Terrebonne Parish has handed over the lease of the old Houma Airbase arena to the Krewe of Hercules, which will now manage and oversee the building's renovations.

The Courier reported (http://bit.ly/1pUMjhA) the building is widely known as the livestock arena because it had been leased for the past decade to the Terrebonne Livestock Association, which will continue to use the building for its rodeos and horse shows.

S.P. Larussa, a founding member of Hercules, said the property has suffered from neglect.

"We used the facility once or twice a year," he said. "We were approached to take over the management of the facility, and it needs some improvements."

The krewe will oversee $60,000 in renovations, including more than $20,000 in parking lot upgrades, which began last weekend, Larussa said.

According to the agreement, the parish will reimburse the krewe for up to $65,000 in repairs to make the facility more attractive to those who would want to rent it for parties and other activities

"There should be rodeos there every weekend. But you can't do that unless you clean it, put up some light systems and make it adequate," Larussa said. "Between now and the next 60 days, it is going to be better there."

Improvements also will include $25,000 in lighting for the rodeo arena, the installation of fans throughout the center, and work on the bleachers and electrical system.

"Hopefully one day we will be able to get the funds to put a cover over the area for the top," Larussa said. "Putting a top on it, people can use it year-round. It is a shame that we are sitting in Houma, Louisiana, and this thing has been neglected for 20 years.

Terrebonne Parish Administrator Al Levron said the Terrebonne Livestock Association will benefit from the krewe's lease.

Ultimately, Larussa said the hope is to improve the building so larger rodeos will consider Houma as a destination for events.

He added the venue should be a staple on the east side for large events, such as fishing rodeos and corporate cook-outs.

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Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com

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