Nathan Stubbs

City-parish budget grows 15 percent

by Nathan Stubbs

Lafayette Consolidated Government’s proposed budget for the 2009 fiscal year has grown 15 percent from last year, to $635 million. Sales and property taxes are projected to be up 39 percent next year. In his president’s message, City-Parish President Joey Durel says, “we continue to realize a time of economic prosperity and growth… The vitality we have experienced couple with conservative projections and sound fiscal practices will allow us to include, in my proposed budget, funding for key programs and projects with a focus on the people needed to implement what we improve … our employees.”

Durel’s proposed budget includes more than $11 million for pay increases for city-parish employees. Durel wants to increase starting pay for firefighters (starting pay for police was boosted earlier in the year) and veteran police officers. He also wants an additional 18 police officers, eight of which will serve as school resource officers and be funded through an intergovernmental agreement with the school board. Entry-level laborers could see their pay rise from $9.06 to $10.58 an hour. Other initiatives include a new animal control shelter, continued funding of Lafayette’s Entertainment Initiative to help attract the film industry and $2.1 million to help implement a new 411 IT service. Major road projects in the five-year capitol outlay budget include the widening of East Verot School road and North University Ave. View the full 2009 proposed budget here .