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LUS To Spend $500,000 On Comprehensive Study; Plan Lafayette Places Emphasis On Future

The future of Lafayette is on the minds of many.

LUS is investing in a study that will give a clearer picture on what their needs will be 10 to 15 years old down the line, however, the interim director, Jeff Stewart also believes the study ties into this month’s Plan Lafayette about strategizing economic growth.

“We want to set ourselves up for success in 20 years by making really good decisions now.” said Stewart.

Stewart says that could mean more renewable energy or more investment in their current sources.

While LUS plans to seek public input on what their future should be, Stewart believes its vital to also reach out the business community

“For a business, an outage costs money and our goal is to make sure that we keep our business customers as happy as we can by providing that service and the type of service that they want and need in order to make them happy. It only helps Lafayette when all 68,000 of our customers are happy.” said Stewart.

This month’s plan Lafayette was split into multiple sessions on capitalizing on federal incentives like opportunity zones and incoming assets for downtown Lafayette such as new apartments and a grocery store

“Our downtown has a lot of momentum. We’re really excited about what’s happening.” said Andre Breaux, Vice-President of Policy Initiatives for One Acadiana.

“The whole parish benefits from that. That’s more money from the school system. That’s more money for the sheriff. That’s more money for drainage. That’s more for all the things that parish is responsible for.” added Lafayette Mayor Joel Robideaux.

For Stewart, this study also means positioning LUS to be an asset to attract more businesses

“Of course, rates, reliability, it all goes into it. There are cases around the country that utilities have made special rates for technology companies that want to locate in certain areas. We have the ability to do it here.” explained Stewart.

LUS plans to several outreach events to allow the public to see and make comments on the comprehensive studies at various stages, but those dates have yet to be announced.

LUS Interim Director Jeff Stewart says it will take a few months to complete the study.