After rejecting the idea late last year, the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority, in a close 3-2 vote last week, reversed course and approved a rate increase for Lafayette Utilities System. The City-Parish Council seconded the decision with a razor-thin 5-4 of its own. Not the politically popular move, the council nevertheless had the foresight to recognize the long-term need for the rate increase, which will not only keep LUS’ services from deteriorating, but also ensure the public utility’s ability to invest in new efficiencies and upgrades. In particular, councilmen Sam Dore, who changed his position on the issue, and Jay Castille and Purvis Morrison, both of whom represent few LUS customers, are to be commended for putting politics aside and making a good business decision for Lafayette’s most valuable asset.
It was a rough week in court for the Lafayette Parish School Board. First, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling that tossed out LPSB’s suit against an architecture firm for water intrusion problems at N.P. Moss Middle School. Both courts found that a five-year prescription period had already expired prior to the school system filing suit. At the same time in a separate matter, the Third Circuit dealt another blow to LPSB in ruling that the sales tax division must return more than $443,000 in use taxes assessed to an oilfield services company for equipment stored but not used in Lafayette Parish. Come to think of it, it was a bad week for Lafayette Parish taxpayers, since the school system belongs to us.
Michael Marshall obviously didn’t pick up The Independent’s recent “Green Issue.” The 64-year-old Calcasieu Parish knuckle head likes to keep it real — real toxic. After being ordered by parish officials to clean up his trash and demolish a dilapidated structure on his property, Marshall stopped by the fire department and asked if it would be OK if he just burned it all. When the department told him no, he reportedly said he was going to do it anyway and then proceeded to follow up on the threat — not only setting fire to the structure but also parking a vehicle at the property’s entrance and preventing the fire department from responding. According to state Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jean Kelly, Marshall’s fireworks show also featured the explosions of several high-pressure tanks inside the structure. He was arrested last week by state police and charged with felony disposal of hazardous substances that could endanger human health or the environment. There was no charge for being a couillon.
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