Walter Pierce

LCC gets breather before heavy lifting

by Walter Pierce

A relatively light meal is on the menu for the Tuesday meeting of the Lafayette Consolidated Council — a respite between grueling weeks of budget hearings and next week’s budget finalization meeting, which many government watchers expect to go late into the night. Today’s meeting could be the shortest in recent memory: the obligatory preliminaries followed by just five mundane discussion items ranging from concerns about residue in garbage bins to recycling containers at fire stations.

The council gets down to brass tacks on Sept. 29 when it finalizes City-Parish President Joey Durel’s almost $600 million proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. The budget was amended several times over the last month, promising a showdown with the administration over such expenditures as funding for cultural and social service nonprofit agencies and investing in the comprehensive master plan. The budget as it currently stands is also about a half million dollars out of whack — red ink that will need to be squared with reality.

The load next week was lightened somewhat Monday when the administration, anticipating it doesn’t have enough votes for passage, pulled a Sept. 29 vote by the council on a proposed LUS rate increase. That matter will be brought before the council in a few weeks.