Inflation, (big) raises and deficits: Five numbers to track in Lafayette’s proposed budget 

Josh Guillory
Photo by Travis Gauthier

The gist: LCG’s last two budget cycles were mirror images. M-P Josh Guillory’s first budget was notable for its cuts, his second for its spending. And this one? Maybe a reckoning of the two. 

$705 million: This year’s total appropriation. It’s a $70 million increase over 2021. Inflated energy costs for power production and ARPA spending account for most of the bump. 

$255,000: The total in raises proposed for M-P Josh Guillory’s staff. Among them CAO Cydra Wingerter ($172,500, a $32,000 bump), CFO Lorrie Toups ($198,000, a $35,000 bump) and several directors. 

$3.2 million: LUS Fiber’s first-ever ILOT contribution to the city general fund. Without it, the city’s projected $29,000 operating deficit would be more than $3.2 million. 

$1 million: The projected balance for the perennially cash-strapped parish general fund. The budget plans $3.4 million in deficit spending on the parish side of the ledger. 

$0: Guillory’s budget exhausts all city ARPA funds with a list of notable projects: $3.1 million to update Jefferson Street, $550,000 for AcA’s music museum, $1 million for a food desert initiative and another $3 million for stormwater detention projects. 

What to watch for. Haggling over pay raises, for one. LCG is running a deficit and just paid out 2% raises for its entire workforce. Plus, Guillory is asking the City Council to approve salaries it previously rejected, namely for the police chief and LUS Fiber director.