Lafayette Consolidated Government’s proposed budget for the
2009 fiscal year has grown 15 percent from last year, to $635 million. Sales
and property taxes are projected to be up 39 percent next year. In his
president’s message, City-Parish President Joey Durel says, “we continue to
realize a time of economic prosperity and growth… The vitality we have
experienced couple with conservative projections and sound fiscal practices
will allow us to include, in my proposed budget, funding for key programs and
projects with a focus on the people needed to implement what we improve … our
Durel’s proposed budget includes more than $11 million
for pay increases for city-parish employees. Durel wants to increase starting
pay for firefighters (starting pay for police was boosted earlier in the year)
and veteran police officers. He also wants an additional 18 police officers,
eight of which will serve as school resource officers and be funded through an
intergovernmental agreement with the school board. Entry-level laborers could
see their pay rise from $9.06 to $10.58 an hour. Other initiatives include a
new animal control shelter, continued funding of Lafayette’s Entertainment
Initiative to help attract the film industry and $2.1 million to help implement
a new 411 IT service. Major road projects in the five-year capitol outlay
budget include the widening of East Verot School road and North University Ave.
View the full 2009 proposed budget here .
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.