Does Lafayette Parish owe the city of Lafayette money?
Consolidated president Joey Durel certainly thinks so and he wants it back. The Durel administration introduced its proposed budget for the new fiscal year to the council Thursday. However, a $4 million proposed debt is what had the council members attention.
Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups says this upcoming year's proposed budget is a tight one. “I budgeted very conservatively. I budgeted revenues low and expenses high,” says Toups.
LUS Fiber is back in the positive.
For next year, Toups anticipates the same but with an increase.
“They're still going to end up with about $80,000 extra, if those conservative estimates come to fruition.”
The big ticket came in the form of a statement that “the parish owes the city about $4 million” or 3 point one million over what the parish already paid the city last year.
“It's a funding problem it exited for decades,” explains Dee Stanley the Chief Administrative Officer.
Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux and other council members want to see the numbers – line for line on how this debt came to be.
“Did we include in this budget year to do the same thing or have we looked at those allocations issues in this budget,” says Boudreaux.
LCG President Joey Durel says the debt is from 16 years of not truly consolidating services.
Some city equipment is still being used for parish business.
“I need to say right here, underlining this conversation that it's against the law to spend city taxes outside of the city,” says Durel.
“We didn't work in the other municipalities. So you can't use the population in those municipalities when you don't do work in them. I don't agree with those numbers,” says LCG Councilman Jay Castille.
When it was all said and done the proposed budget was approved showing an overall debt for LCG of $850 million, to be paid off annually.
Plus, the budget includes 84 cuts to unfilled positions in fire, police and the public works departments.
The only pay raise will be the 2% state mandated raise for fire.