NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – New Iberia city leaders are looking for the best way to keep their city safe.
Tuesday night council members had a chance to look over the proposed contact between the city and the sheriff’s office. The main difference is, it’s only for one year.
New Iberia Mayor Freddie DeCourt said the council is taking this seriously.
“We’ve been proactive. We started in January, the contract is up in July. We’re trying to look with as foresight as we can for the future of our town,” DeCourt said.
The current sheriff’s office contract costs about $6.3 million. The proposed contract costs the same. What’s missing from the proposed contract includes law enforcement escorts, animal control and a liason between the sheriff and city.
“It’s kind of been know that we’re going to get the same service that we’ve been getting and we’re going to continue to pay for it,” Natalie Lopez said, New Iberia city council member.
Meanwhile, the council is debating whether to add a half-cent sales tax proposal to the October ballot.
The money could possibly help re-install a police department.
“At the end of the day we can’t make the decision until we find out of the tax passes because we can’t bring the police department without the funding,” Lopez said.
The price tag for a new police department is around $7.2 million dollars, according to DeCourt.
“Nobody likes taxes, including myself but it’s something that if we’re going to do this, there’s no other way. I mean we’ve tried to look at a smaller department. We’ve tried other options it just hasn’t worked out,” DeCourt said.
For now the city will be studying the proposed contract and debating if higher taxes are worth having more law enforcement.
DeCourt said they plan to vote on placing the sales tax proposal on the October ballot at the next city council meeting on April 4.
KLFY did reached out to Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal for comment, but he declined an interview until he got a chance to hear what the council had to say.