Council Preview: More Bayou Vermilion Flood Control; $500K for a drainage plan; City Council’s drainage questions

Here is 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:

Lafayette 101
Housing

LCG runs several housing programs primarily funded by federal grants. Historically, those programs have focused on home ownership, including loans for first-time home buyers and grants for repairing old houses. The pandemic introduced a rent assistance program also funded by federal grants. Very few local dollars are spent on housing programs.

Parish Council

Final Adoption

Shifting $14.1 million of ARPA funds. This ordinance shifts parish American Rescue Plan money earmarked for projects and reallocates it to pay for lost revenue. ARPA rules allow for recipients to spend some of this money without restrictions so long as it can be shown to offset lost revenues. 

ARPA dollars on “parish tourism,” drainage and more. The following ordinances appropriate $4.1 million in ARPA funds to a variety of projects. “Parish Tourism” is not defined but is administered by the CAO’s office.

  • $400,000 for Parish Tourism
  • $67,000 for Maple Grove Lane Overlay Project
  • $1 million for Coulee Mine Flood Control Project
  • $500,000 for Garber Road Bridge Replacement Project
  • $200,000 for Carmel Drive Sidewalks Project
  • $2 million for Louisiana Avenue Extension Project

$2.35 million to the Bayou Vermilion Flood Control Project. This ordinance transfers $545,000 from the Bayou Vermilion Flood Control-Chappuis Project and $1.8 million from the Oak Springs Flood Control Project to Bayou Vermilion Flood Control Project, which includes the Coulee Ile Des Cannes Regional Detention Ponds and the Homewood Regional Detention Project. Homewood was halted by a court order. 

$22 million for the Bayou Vermilion Flood Control Project. This ordinance recognizes $22 million from state capital outlay funds for this project. The introduction of this ordinance wasn’t on the regular Parish Council agenda for the last meeting but rather was introduced during a special meeting.

Introduction

$40,000 contract for Cornerstone Government Affairs. This ordinance appropriates money for a lobbying contract to help secure federal and state funding to complete the I-49 Connector in Lafayette Parish.

How should LCG spend your money? Take our 2022 budget survey.

City Council

Report

Drainage projects, public bid law and contracts. The Council is asking for an update on a list of questions delivered to the administration, spurred by multiple lawsuits and reporting of potential legal violations. The original two-week deadline has come and gone. In late June, M-P Josh Guillory issued a letter describing the questions as “political” and suggested both the city and parish councils request an audit. 

Final Adoption

$27,000 for audit and attestation costs for LUS and LUS Fiber. This ordinance increases funding for the annual audits of LUS and LUS Fiber and shifts the costs from the Council Administration section of the budget to the City Council section.

$500,000 for the Comprehensive Stormwater Plan. This ordinance takes money from the city capital fund to pay for a parishwide comprehensive stormwater plan. The administration contracted CSRS last summer to work on a comprehensive plan but has argued in court in defense of its expropriations that LCG already has a comprehensive drainage plan. 

$150,000 for the Girard Park Recreation Center Roof Replacement Project. This ordinance moves funds from a completed drainage project and  increases the total funding for this project to $1.35 million.

Introduction

$700,000 more for the Digby Avenue Detention Project. This ordinance appropriates these funds from the city’s sales tax capital project fund balance. The projected cost of this project is $2 million. This pond is slated to be dug just south of the Lake Farm Road ponds. 

$1 million for ARCH. This ordinance appropriates city ARPA funds to help the Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness and Housing to continue working to address homelessness at a time when resources from the federal government are on the decline.

Joint Items

Final Adoption

LCG takes over maintenance for state roads. This ordinance authorizes a contract with the state for LCG to perform maintenance on state roads in Lafayette Parish. LCG will be reimbursed to mow and pick up litter on some state roads.

Introduction

$250,000 more money for Geaux Mow and Interstate Grass Cutting. This ordinance transfers money from parish bridge repairs to grass maintenance. Geaux Mow is a Guillory administrative initiative privatizing grass cutting on public land in Lafayette. This appropriation brings total funding of Geaux Mow to $625,000.

$1.5 million in federal housing funds. This ordinance increases Community Development Block Grant revenues received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used for a variety of programs, including housing rehabilitation. 

$705,000 in federal housing funds. This ordinance increases HOME program revenues received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used for a variety of programs, including low-income housing.

Property

AddressApprovalAction
820 West Simcoe StJoint CouncilNon-warranty cash sale to adjoining landowner
1424 North Bertrand DrJoint CouncilNon-warranty cash sale to adjoining landowner
1218 Southwest Evangeline ThruwayJoint CouncilNon-warranty cash sale to adjoining landowner
6004 Johnston StCity CouncilAnnexation 

Vacancies

BoardApprovalQualifications
Lafayette Parish Waterworks District South BoardParish CouncilMust be a registered voter and a resident of Lafayette Parish
Downtown Management Committee (2x)City CouncilMust own immovable property or a business that operates from a downtown location or be a director, partner, or member of a business owning property or operating downtown. And must be a registered voter and resident of Lafayette Parish.

Appointments

BoardApprovalApplicants
Teche-Vermilion Freshwater DistrictParish CouncilEdward Sonnier
Recreation Advisory CommissionDistrict 5 Parish CouncilmemberThadeus Shelvin
Board of Zoning Adjustment City CouncilCharles Ditch
Keep Lafayette Beautiful BoardCity CouncilEmily Hamner
Recreation Advisory CommissionDistrict 2 City CouncilmemberMark Pope