Red River Waterway Commission audit shows $28 million available for general use


The Red River Waterway Commission had a combined government fund balance of $74.3 million on Dec. 31, according to its annual audit report.

About $28 million of that was unassigned and available for general use.

The remainder of the fund balance is dedicated to capital assets, port infrastructure, and insurance.

The review by Payne, Moore & Herrington found no material weaknesses or discrepancies in its review.

The commission, created in 1965 after persistent championing by Cliff Fairbanks of Rapides as Red River navigation inched toward reality, has representatives from Rapides, Avoyelles, Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Caddo and Bossier, and four at-large members appointed by the governor.

The commission’s general fund revenues were $13.9 million, with property taxes contributing $11.7 million. Expenses totaled $9.2 million.

The property tax is 2.34 mills, 65 percent of its yield goes to capital investment, and 35 percent to the General Fund maintenance account.

The net position of the commission’s Capital Account – public works, recreation and parks, port development – was $110 million on Dec. 31.

The commission has Rapides recreation sites at Boyce, Fort Buhlow, Alexandria Levee Park, and Poland.

Commissioners were paid a total of $35,346 in 2022.

Executive Director Colin Brown was paid $159,181, plus an auto allowance and cell phone allowance.