City-Parish President Joey Durel will introduce his proposed 2012-2013 fiscal year budget to the City-Parish Council during a special meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the council auditorium at City Hall. Budget hearings focusing on various departments within Lafayette Consolidated Government will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays — with some days off — until Sept. 6. The budget is scheduled to be finalized on Sept. 13.

The budget review and finalization process will likely not come without its customary share of acrimony as “fiscal hawks” on the council attempt — as they do each year — to eliminate funding for non-governmental organizations such as social service nonprofits and the arts; the Cajundome and other outlays they deem discretionary. Additionally, Lafayette is facing a roughly $5 million shortfall compared to the current $543 million budget to fund personnel for a new fire station, and the council has been dipping into reserve funds for the last few years to make ends meet.

To see the budget-hearing schedule click here.

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