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:
Properties become adjudicated when their annual property tax bills aren’t paid, leaving LCG in charge of handling them until the owner pays off the tax bill or someone else goes through the lengthy process of obtaining title to the property to become its new owner. The slow process causes adjudicated properties to often sit neglected for years.
Parish millages. Property taxes will likely drop this year as the two-year library millage boost approved by the Parish Council in 2021 is replaced by a new library millage rate passed by voters that same year. The council bumped the library’s 1.84-mill tax to 1.97 mills for the two-year period between the vote on the renewal and when it would take effect, which is this year. The change is worth more than $300,000 in lost annual revenue for the library and will save 97 cents a year in taxes on a $150,000 house with a homestead exemption. This year’s proposed parish millages are otherwise unchanged from last year.
No significant items.
City Court. After agreeing to Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s $9.5 million bid to move City Court two weeks ago, the council is looking for an update on plans to renovate the Lemoine Building at 214 Jefferson St. Downtown to house City Court functions. Judges Doug Saloom and Jules Edwards previously told the council they were on board with the move, provided they could work with an architect to make sure the Lemoine Building was a viable option. The council was particularly concerned with quickly getting feedback from the judges once they had time to more fully develop renovation plans.
City millages. No change is planned for property tax rates in the city of Lafayette this year. LCG’s expectations suggest the city will collect $30.8 million in property taxes, up from $30.5 million last year.
Streetscapes. Guillory’s administration is proposing a shakeup of the city’s federal ARPA funds to shift $2.6 million in federal funds from the Jefferson Street Renewal project into the 12th Street Corridor Streetscape project and take $2.6 million local tax dollars from that project for the Congress Street Streetscaping plan. The change comes as LCG is nearing the federal deadline to allocate and spend its ARPA funds, and the admin says the 12th Street Corridor project is the better option to meet that timeline. Replacement funds for the Jefferson Street Renewal were not included in the proposal.
No significant items.
Alcohol sales. The city and parish councils will vote Tuesday on a plan that would allow beer sales for on-premises consumption to start at 7 a.m. on Sundays. Current rules prohibit alcohol sales before 11 a.m. on Sundays, but the proposed change would allow beverages of 6% ABV or less to be sold for on-premises consumption as early as 7 a.m., leaving out most wines. The proposal also would not change the 11 a.m. start time on Sundays for alcohol sales made for off-premises consumption.
Habitat homes. Both councils will give preliminary consideration Tuesday to a plan to donate 14 adjudicated properties to Lafayette’s Habitat for Humanity as part of an ongoing effort to clear the parish’s backlog of more than 1,200 adjudications. Habitat has a track record of success with bringing the adjudicated properties back into commerce by building new homes on the often vacant, neglected lots that have concentrated blight largely on Lafayette’s Northside. Lafayette is also exploring an effort to revive adjudicated properties by putting neighborhood groups in charge with a pilot program in partnership with the McComb-Veazey Coterie.