The Lafayette City-Parish Administration unveiled its 2017-208 budget tonight, calling for a slight increase in year-over-year spending while showing projected revenue growth and spending cuts to make up for the loss of two tax millages renewals in the spring.
The proposed budget calls for a balanced budget of $632.3 million, an increase of $12.3 million, or 2 percent, from the 2016-2017 budget.
Although tax millage renewals for the parish courthouse and jail failed this spring, the administration is predicting higher revenues and projecting cost savings that will lessen the damage if the millages are not approved this fall.
“We recognize… that this recent vote indicates the need to build more trust in local government,” Lafayette City-Parish President Joel Robideaux said in his letter accompanying the budget proposal. “It is my goal to restore some of that faith by demonstrating how we efficiently utilize existing resources and are finding ways to reallocate tax dollars to both critical infrastructure needs and strategic revenue generating initiatives.”
The budget proposal is projects a $3.5 million increase in property tax collections, $1.5 million in Lafayette Utility System revenue and an additional $1 million in general sales tax growth, along with nearly $10 million in cuts to the parish’s operating budgets, to help overcome the loss of the two millages.
The budget proposal also reflects savings through refinancing of several bond issues, a lower cost negotiated for the parish’s mosquito abatement services and its property insurance premiums.
Even with the cuts, the proposal beefs up police manning and operations. It calls for the addition of five new police officers, additional security cameras and 24-hour operation of the reopened Precinct 4 on Moss Street.
The budget proposal now faces scrutiny, department by department, in the coming weeks. The schedule for the upcoming budget hearings is:
Thursday, August 3, 2017, 1:00 PM
Parks and Recreation
Planning, Zoning & Development
Thursday, August 10, 2017, 1:00 PM
LUS & Capital
LUS Communications (Fiber Services)
Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 1:00 PM
1. City Court
2.Registrar of Voters
3. Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (formerly Civil Defense/911)
5. County Agent
6. Justice of Peace & Constables
7. Municipal Civil Service
8. Fire & Police CS
10. Health Unit
12. Juvenile Detention
13. Animal Control
15. District Court
16. District Attorney
19. President’s Office
21. Council Office
Thursday, August 17, 2017, 1:00 PM
Public Works & Capital
Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 5:30 PM
Public Hearing for Citizen Input (During Council meeting)
Thursday, August 31, 2017, 1:00 PM
Thursday, September 7th, 2017, 5:30 PM
Final Adoption of the Budget