LCG Budget Talks

The Lafayette Consolidated Government is getting closer to finalizing the 2013 budget. And at a meeting Thursday, the public was invited to weigh in on how tax dollars should be spent. However, no one showed up to the meeting besides parish employees. But that doesn't mean the LCG won't move forward with their plans.

In two weeks, Lafayette's yearly budget will be finalized. City-Parish President Joey Durel unveiled the plan last month with some desired changes for the upcoming year.

 Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley says the budget will run on nearly half a billion dollars.

“It's a very lean budget,” said Stanley. “It's a balanced budget. It eliminated 85 vacant positions, cut $2.5 to $3 million in that range. And it's a tight budget at least for the year to come.”

In addition to the budget, allocation formulas will be figured out to decide how to split costs between the city and parish.  It's been a heated issue, since Durel discovered millions of dollars were inappropriately spent to help parish operations.

Stanley says they're working out the kinks with a consultant firm.

“There will be some recommended changes in our finance department will make based on what we heard from our consultant,” said Stanley.

 But the good news is, tax revenues have been stellar, which is helping the city operate on a healthy budget.

“That is something that is encouraging,” said Stanley. “2011 rebounding from the recession in 2009 getting into 2010 was the second best sales tax year Lafayette Parish has on record. This year is surpassing our budget year and what we had planned from a retail standpoint.”

  Stanley says they're likely to see more public participation at the final meeting on September 13th.  But, before then, the next public meeting will be September 6th at 1:00pm.

-Caroline Balchunas

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