The City-Parish Council will do its final round of amendments and pontificating on ideological issues Thursday evening when it finalizes C-P President Joey Durel’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that beings Nov. 1.  Durel submitted the roughly $580 million budget in late July and the council held a series of public meetings to comb through proposed funding for Lafayette Consolidated Government’s departments during August. No one from the public attended an open meeting on Aug. 30 during which public comment on the budget was sought. Thursday’s meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council auditorium at City Hall.

Durel’s budget is by most accounts a lean one: many departments face some level of budget cuts — up to 76 percent for Community Development and more than 45 percent for Planning, Zoning & Codes. The proposed budget also provides no cost-living-increase for LCG employees.

In addition, there are contingencies built into the budget. For example, Durel’s proposed budget includes some fee increases for things like parking meters and rental of public buildings. But the budget itself does not include the fee hikes; the council must approve separate ordinances raising those fees. The council will also have to vote on a separate ordinance approving a service fee for LUS customers who opted out of the smart meter program and who will require manual meter reading.

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