News + Notes

10/19 Council Preview: Raises for Lafayette police and fire; police chief termination; ARPA funding for Faith House; redistricting

Illustration by Peter DeHart

The gist: Here’s a selection of items on the agendas for this week’s meetings of the City and Parish councils. To see the full agendas, check out the links below. 

Parish Council

Final Adoption

$7.725 million in ARPA funds for drainage, fire protection and Faith House. The Parish Council will vote to approve a series of ordinances for appropriating some of its $47 million allocation in American Rescue Plan Act recovery funds. The drainage and fire protection projects were on the mayor-president’s proposed list.

But the money for Faith House will be the first ARPA funds distributed to an external agency. Here are the list of proposed projects:

  • $2 million for Coulee Mine, Ile des Cannes, Bayou Vermilion, Bayou Carencro-Parish Stormwater Detention
  • $1.75 million for Millcreek Drainage Improvements
  • $375,000 for Vermilion Hydraulic Model Enhancement 
  • $300,000 for Fire Hydrants in Unincorporated Areas
  • $2.8 million for 7 Volunteer Fire Department Tanker Trucks
  • $500,000 for Faith House

Drainage and fire protection taxes both appear on the Nov. 13 ballot. 

$3.8 million for the Bayou Vermilion Flood Control Project. This ordinance will transfer $2 million from the parish’s reserve capital fund, $800,000 from the stormwater management fund prior year fund balance, and $1 million from parish drainage improvements accounts to cover additional costs that are needed. The Parish Council approved $1.75 million for this project on May 18 and $1.25 million for a related project on Aug. 17. The state Legislature also included approximately $30 million in the state capital outlay budget.

Adjust revenue and appropriation estimates. This ordinance adjusts the budget to reflect new projections of spending and revenue. Here are some of the most notable changes:

  • $1.3 million decrease in use of Parish General Fund balance
  • $584,500 increase in use of Library Fund balance
  • $317,898 increase in use of Criminal Court Fund balance
  • $276,067 decrease in use of Courthouse Complex Fund balance

City Council

Resolution

2021-2022 external agencies funding program. This resolution confirms the City Council’s support for the recommendations of the Community Development Arts Review Panel and the Community Development Social Services Review Panel related to providing funding to external agencies. Out of the $318,000 in requests from arts and culture applicants, $55,667 will be granted. Out of the $192,000 in requests from social service applicants, $74,053 will be granted. The itemized lists can be found on pages 3 and 4 in the resolution. None of the requests will be fully funded.

Reports

Update on the Police Department. City Councilman Glenn Lazard has asked for an update on what’s happening in the police department after the sudden and unexplained firing of former Police Chief Thomas Glover.

Discussion on Redistricting/Demographer. Lazard also wants to kick off a discussion around next steps in the redistricting process, which could change the boundaries of legislative districts in the city and parish of Lafayette.

Final Adoption

Adjust revenue and appropriation estimates. This ordinance adjusts the budget to reflect new projections of spending and revenue. Here are some of the most notable changes:

  • $14.5 million decrease in use of City Sales Tax Capital Improvement Fund
  • $3.2 million decrease in use of City General Fund balance
  • $1.2 million increase in use of Utilities System Fund balance
  • $514,194 decrease in use of Communications System Fund balance
  • $284,097 increase in use of TIF Sales Tax Trust Fund 

$25 million for water and sewer upgrades. This ordinance will authorize the administration to pursue grant funding from the $300 million in state ARPA funds Louisiana has allocated to the Water Sector Program. These grants will require 25-76% local matches, but the funds would be used to offset money the city was already planning on spending to maintain and upgrade water and sewer facilities.

2% pay raises to some police and fire employees. This ordinance for police and this ordinance for fire will raise salaries above certain pay ranges. It will not change the entry-level salaries for either. Police and fire salary taxes are up for renewal Nov. 13. 

Joint Council

Resolution

Adjust the rules for attorneys and proclamations at council meetings. This resolution would make two changes to council meetings. The first is that city-parish attorneys who are assigned to ordinances will not automatically attend meetings where the ordinance is up for introduction or final adoption but rather will only attend when requested by councilmembers. This change is made to help save money from having attorneys billing just for sitting through long meetings where they’re ultimately not needed. The second change is to remove all proclamations from council meetings. The mayor-president will still be able to issue proclamations from his office, and councilmembers will be invited to attend those. Councilmembers can also issue proclamations but schedule them to happen before council meetings. This change is made to help prevent council meetings from running too long. 

Final Adoption

Adjust revenue and appropriation estimates. This ordinance adjusts the budget to reflect new projections of spending and revenue. Here are some of the most notable changes:

  • $760,104 decrease in the use of Risk Management Fund balance
  • $548,238 decrease in the use of Environmental Services Fund balance
  • $451,958 decrease in the use of City General Fund balance
  • $291,945 increase in the use of Utilities System Fund balance
  • $237,292 decrease in the use of Road & Bridge Maintenance Fund balance
  • $187,662 decrease in the use of Parish General Fund balance

$500,000 for the Ambassador Caffery/Kaliste Saloom Road construction project. This ordinance will accept state funding for a concrete five-lane roadway section and drainage system along Kaliste Saloom near Ambassador Caffery. 

$706,000 to social service agencies. A series of ordinances will send federal government funds (regular CDBG and HOME allocations) to the following nonprofits:

  • $135,000 CDBG to Catholic Charities of Acadiana 
  • $130,000 CDBG to Acadiana CARES
  • $80,000 CDBG to Lafayette Habitat for Humanity
  • $100,000 HOME to Catholic Charities of Acadiana
  • $261,000 HOME to Lafayette Habitat for Humanity

Management and disposition of adjudicated properties. This ordinance makes a series of administrative tweaks to LCG’s ordinance governing adjudicated properties. The changes are itemized on Page 5 of the ordinance.

Property

AddressApprovalAction
440 Detente RdParish CouncilAcquire full ownership of adjudicated property
440 Detente RdParish CouncilTransfer ownership to Youngsville
24 properties on Carmel Dr and 302 Carmel DrCity CouncilRezone from CH to MN-1, from RS-1 to MN-1, and from CH to CM-1, and to approve a conditional use permit for 302 Carmel Dr
1210 Kaliste Saloom RdCity CouncilRezone from RM-1 to MN-1
2845 Verot School RdCity CouncilAnnex into the city and zone as CH
125 Easy StCity CouncilRezone from IL to RM-1
186 Emerite StCity CouncilRezone from RS-1 to RM-1
115 & 205 McKinley StCity CouncilApprove a conditional use permit for a restaurant and rezone from MN-1 to MN-2