Durel’s recommendations for the new budget

The Lafayette City-Parish Council has convened for a snap shot of what next year's spending plan will be. The special budget meeting is being held Thursday night inside council chambers. Also, City-Parish President Joey Durel is scheduled to make a statement.

City-Parish President Joey Durel in his message will talk about what he wants to see happen in terms of the new budget. His recommendations include a property tax cut, employee pay raises and getting a grip on what he says the parish owes the city.

Durel says even with the positive changes made through the year – we are still not where we need to be. Durel plans to recommend a property tax cut for two parish wide millages.

Mosquito Control and the Parish Health Unit he says have collected revenues beyond what's need to keep them afloat. To reduce the tax burden to taxpayers by more than $3 million.

“It doesn't mean you're eliminating that tax, you're just not going to collect. It's basically a tax cut,” said Durel.

Another proposed budget addition he hopes the council will support is settling what the parish owes the city. This year it's calculated that the parish owes city government about $5.1 million.

Durel says the city has been made whole by taking two parish funds and using them to help fund public works operations. He's asking the council to continue that.

“The parish can very honestly say now that it has paid it's debt to consolidation,” said Durel.

And lastly Durel is to recommend pay raises for city parish workers. Raises of two and a half percent. He says reserve funds are much more healthier this year.

“We got down to as low as $2 million and I think that what you're going to see in the budget is about $18.5 million this year.” said Durel.

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