Walter Pierce

NGOs not out of the woods yet

by Walter Pierce

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fryer for nearly two dozen non-governmental organizations — culture providers and social service non-profits — as budget hearings continue for the Lafayette Consolidated Council. As both The Advocate and The Daily Advertiser report today, funding for each of the NGOs could be revisited as the council hones the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget. The current proposed budget is roughly $587 million; the NGOs receive just more than $450,000 in direct funding from Lafayette Consolidated Government. But Councilman William Theriot is seeking individual, up-or-down votes on each of the 23 groups slated to receive funding in City Parish President Joey Durel’s proposed budget.

Led by councilmen Theriot and Jared Bellard, an effort to phase out that funding failed by a 6-3 vote last month, with Councilman Keith Patin joining in supporting the phase-out. Durel has said he favors LCG funding of cultural providers like Festival International de Louisiane and the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana, but opposes government funding of social service agencies such as Faith House and 232-HELP.