Consolidation, bar fees before council

by Walter Pierce

CPC to decide on advancing deconsolidation ordinance, repeal of fees charged to downtown bars for police security.

The Lafayette City-Parish Council will decide Wednesday evening about advancing an introductory ordinance that would let voters parish-wide decide in November whether to repeal the city-parish charter and return to dual city and parish forms of government. Passage of the measure will require a six-vote super majority from the council.

The issue of ending the parish's 14-year experiment with consolidation came to a head with the recent council vote on granting Lafayette Utilities System a rate hike. Two weeks ago a charter committee recommended putting consolidation to a vote of the parish. The topic was also the subject of last week's Independent Weekly cover story, "Fault Line."

The council will also vote Wednesday on whether to rescind a monthly levy on downtown bars to cover the cost of extra police patrols Thursday through Saturday nights. The levy was placed on bars following an agreement between bar owners and LCG about a year ago and is based on each bar's capacity; the levy schedule was raised last fall after Lafayette Police determined the rates were not meeting the cost of the patrols. Read The Ind's Dec. 9, 2009 cover story, "Bar Fight," for the back story.