News + Notes

10/5 Council Preview: North Lafayette Redevelopment Authority veto override, ARPA money for drainage and Faith House, rent assistance, new LUS customer charges

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. 

Special Joint Council

Veto Override 

Line item veto on North Lafayette Redevelopment Authority. An amendment to next year’s budget removed $250,000 from the NLRA and put the funds toward traffic calming. The mayor-president exercised a line item veto on the amendment, saying it would restore the funding. But the procedure on the amendment and veto was botched from the get-go because the $250,000 in question was not in the administration’s proposed budget for the NLRA, nor was it formally added by amendment. So it’s not clear how the mayor-president’s veto can restore funding that was never allocated in the first place.

Report

Steven Picou on the airport property tax renewal. A 1.71-mill property tax supporting Lafayette Regional Airport is up for renewal on the Nov. 13 ballot. Airport Executive Director Steven Picou will report on the airport’s progress and the use of the property tax, which generates $4 million each year. 

Parish Council

Resolution

LEDA property tax. This resolution approves the Lafayette Economic Development Authority’s board of commissioners’ action to authorize the collection of LEDA’s 1.8-mill property tax for 2021. The millage generates just under $4 million annually for LEDA.

Final Adoption

$4.725 million for the Coulee Mine East Flood Control Project. This ordinance will recognize this revenue from Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds and authorize a matching contribution of $875,000 in parish drainage funds. 

Introduction

$7.73 million of ARPA funds for parish projects. Six ordinances up for introduction will commit some of the parish portion of Lafayette’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. Five of these are projects that were included in the mayor-president’s proposed budget, though the amount for Millcreek Drainage Improvements has increased from $1 million to $1.75 million. The sixth project is a new addition providing $500,000 for Faith House, which would be the first ARPA dollars distributed to an external agency. Here is the list of projects that could be funded with Parish Council approval:

  • $2 million Coulee Mine, Ile Des Cannes, Bayou Vermilion, Bayou Carencro-Parish Stormwater Detention
  • $1.75 million Millcreek Drainage Improvements (was $1 million)
  • $375,000 Vermilion Hydraulic Model Enhancement
  • $2.8 million Volunteer Fire Department Tanker Trucks
  • $300,000 fire hydrants for unincorporated areas
  • $500,000 Faith House

$2.8 million for Bayou Vermilion Flood Control Project. This ordinance will take $2 million from the Parish Reserve Capital Fund, $800,000 from the Storm Water Management Fund, and $1 million from Parish Drainage Improvements accounts. This project was initially budgeted with $10.6 million, which will increase to $14.4 million. 

City Council

Resolutions

Balloon releases. This resolution from City Council member Nanette Cook will discourage the use of balloon releases, which can harm the environment and cause power outages. As a resolution, though, it will not carry the weight of law or impose any new penalties.

Tax abatement for Champion Real Estate. This resolution will allow Champion to avoid paying $395,000 in property taxes over the next five years on the $6 million invested in renovating 102 Versailles Blvd., which is the old MidSouth Bank tower Downtown that is the site of CGI’s newest offices.

Final

Fire Department grants. A variety of ordinances will be considered authorizing the Lafayette Fire Department to file two applications for Assistance to Firefighters grants, one for a Fire Prevention and Safety grant, and one for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant. 

Annual charges for checking LUS backflow preventers. This ordinance will assess an annual bill for LUS customers to check and maintain backflow preventers. Here are the annual costs by customer type: 

Backflow Preventer Size0.5″ – 2″2.5″ – 4″6″ or larger
Residential$60$85n/a
Commercial$70$95$155
Fire$75$100$160
Testing
Backflow Preventer Size0.5″ – 2″2.5″ – 4″6″ or larger
Residential$90$145n/a
Commercial$105$155$250
Fire$115$160$260
Cleaning & Retesting

Joint Council

Resolutions

Route Lafayette Wayfinding and Sign Standard Plan. This resolution follows through on a PlanLafayette recommendation to establish new standards for wayfinding signage that will be in French and English.

Final

$250,000 more for legal fees. This ordinance will appropriate $197,500 from the city’s general fund balance and $52,500 from the parish’s general fund balance to cover an increase in spending on legal fees.

$2.3 million more for Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This ordinance will make more funds available for this program, administered by SMILE Community Action Agency and Catholic Charities of Acadiana.

Two ordinances authorizing the filing of grant applications. This ordinance is to apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a Regional Assistance to Firefighters grant. This ordinance is to file for grant funding that may become available as a result of the presidential disaster declaration following Hurricane Ida.

Donate adjudicated properties to SUN Community Housing Development Organization. This ordinance will donate the adjudicated properties listed below to SUN, a nonprofit incorporated in 2018 to provide affordable housing that’s led by former City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams: 

  • 110 Royal St.
  • 215 Florence St.
  • 217 Florence St.
  • 232 Madeline Ave.
  • 304 N. Bienville St.
  • 710 N. Bienville St.
  • 810 N. Bienville St.
BoardAuthorityQualifications
Lafayette Waterworks District South Parish CouncilMust be district resident
Vacancies
BoardAuthorityCandidates
Lafayette Waterworks District NorthParish CouncilPreston Bernard
Industrial Development BoardParish CouncilMichael Matte
Lafayette Parish Library Board of ControlMayor-PresidentDustin Arnaud
Lafayette Municipal Civil Service BoardCity CouncilJulie Broussard, Kylee Brundige, Andrea Hebert, Edward Viguerie 
Appointments
AddressApprovalAction
104 LaSalle St.City CouncilCondemnation
Property