Posted: Mar 14, 2013 6:06 PM by Tonya LaCoste
Lafayette City Parish President Joey Durel is reminding the City of Broussard that he will discontinue fire dispatch services unless Broussard drop its lawsuit challenging Lafayette's annexation of Vieux Chene Golf Course.
Durel talked about the approaching April 30 deadline on "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" on 96.5 KPEL. The city of Lafayette provides dispatch for most area fire departments, but the last day of April, according to Durel, will be the last day for Broussard. That decision will increase home and business insurance rates.
Durel's verbatim during the KPEL is below, as is Broussard's response.
Joey Durel on 96.5 KPEL:
Broussard's government, as you know, has decided to sue Lafayette over an annexation - something that did no harm to Broussard. So we made it clear a year or so ago that we would, you know, if that's the kind of relationship we were going to have, the city of Lafayette would no longer provide services for the city government of Broussard.
So, their fire department has been notified - a long time ago, but again a couple of months ago - that April 30th would be the last day that we would provide that dispatch. In other words, when somebody calls right now one of our firemen actually handles the dispatch; that's every critical to the fire rating of a community.
So, the consequences of that is going to be that very likely insurance rates in the city of Broussard will double on all businesses and homes. It's unfortunate; we surely don't want to do that but, again, we can't maintain a relationship with a government that's hostile to the city of Lafayette government.
And so, we have begged, have asked, have pleaded with the government of Broussard to make the decision as to what do they think is most important: is the lawsuit more important than the services we provide?
And it's been clear that their decision is they would rather sue the city of Lafayette over annexing its own golf course as opposed to getting the services that the city of Lafayette can provide. So, it's a decision that the city government of Broussard has made, not us.
We've given them the choice: you can either have the services by just letting us have our annexation without us all spending ridiculous legal fees, or you can continue the lawsuit and just lose the services, and they have chosen to give up the services.
City of Broussard's Response to Joey Durel's Comments on KPEL
Broussard, LA - Attorney Gerald deLaunay, who represents the City of Broussard, released the following statement this afternoon in response to Joey Durel's interview on KPEL Radio this morning concerning his decision to cut off fire services to the City of Broussard.
"Mr. Durel and others in his administration are obviously more interested in advancing their political agenda than in the welfare of the citizens of Lafayette Parish. His most recent threat to cut off 911 emergency fire service to the citizens and businesses in Broussard would not only be blatantly illegal, but demonstrates his and his administration's complete disregard of public safety, as well as a lack of common sense and morality. The citizens and businesses of Broussard pay substantial taxes which are levied specifically for 911 services, and they are entitled to receive those services.
By trying to deny emergency fire service to family homes, schools, and nursing homes, Mr. Durel and those who support him show their willingness to sacrifice human life for political reasons. The latest move also sends a message to the businesses that have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure in Lafayette Parish that he does not care about the dangers he would cause their employees, and their property by his completely irresponsible acts.
Mr. Durel's talk of lawsuits being the reason for his ludicrous acts is pure political deception. Both of the pending suits between the parties were caused by Lafayette.
After it was discovered that Lafayette had ignored a wholesale water meter owned and maintained by it which supplied water to Broussard, Lafayette gave Broussard what it has admitted to be an inflated bill for water usage, and told Broussard to file suit if it wanted a refund of excess charges. When Broussard did just that, Lafayette sought to cancel its contract to sell water to Broussard because of the meter incident. The court threw out that claim, and Mr. Durel simply won't accept the court's ruling.
When Lafayette attempted a patently illegal annexation of citizens that had asked to come into Broussard, Broussard went to court to challenge the illegal action and defend the wishes of the citizens that had asked to come into Broussard. At a recent hearing, the court considering the matter called Lafayette's annexation plan unreasonable on its face. Mr. Durel won't accept that either.
Broussard has repeatedly urged Lafayette to put the interests of the citizens of Lafayette Parish ahead of politics, and to agree to sit down with a neutral mediator to work out our differences. Mr. Durel has refused each request. If there is anybody in the Durel administration that is willing to stand up to the City-Parish president, and put reason ahead of politics, it is really time for them to come forth."