The gist: This year’s budget includes dozens of projects worth $419 million over the next five years. Here’s how it works and what’s in it.
Pay as you go vs. bonds. LCG pays for projects two ways: with cash on hand (pay as you go) or with debt (bonds). Generally, projects funded with cash are viewed as higher priority. Landing on the bond program list can put a project in limbo until LCG sells bonds.
Here’s how the funding breaks down in the upcoming year:
- Parish PAYGO – $7.4 million
- Parish Bond – $0
- City PAYGO – $56.7 million
- City Bond – $54.4 million
Five year plans. The capital improvement budget is a five-year plan. But spending planned after the upcoming year is not written in stone. Projects get added to and from future years pretty frequently.
How do they come up with the plan? The administration’s plan includes projects requested by department staff and by council members. Council members can propose amendments, adding or removing projects from the budgets.
What’s in this year’s plan? Most of the action is on the city side, which accounts for 94% of the proposed spending. Here’s a list of notable projects and their funding proposed for 2022/23.
- Brown and Moore park upgrades – $20 million (City Bond)
- W. Congress Streetscape – $4.7 million (City Bond)
- Lafayette’s bike plan – $4.5 million (City Bond)
- University Avenue Corridor – $2 million (City PAYGO)
- 12th Street streetscape $2.8 million – (City PAYGO)
- Evangeline Boulevard study – $500,000 (City PAYGO)
Don’t forget ARPA! LCG will spend the rest of its $86 million slice of the American Rescue Plan. As proposed, most of the funding is going to infrastructure. A few notable projects:
- Parc International upgrades – $1.35 million (City)
- Jefferson Street updates – $3.1 million (City)
- Food desert initiative – $950,000 (City)
- Webb Coulee Detention – $1 million (Parish)
- Carmel Drive sidewalks – $750,000 (Parish)
What to watch for: Survival. Council members will haggle with the administration on which projects make it and which projects don’t. Nothing is final until the budget is approved. And even then, it can be amended through the year.