Jun 25, 2012 7:24 PM by Erin Steuber
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel is ready to cut ties with the City of Broussard as soon as possible.
Last month, Durel announced he wanted to end the relationship because of Broussard's "antagonistic behavior". This meant Lafayette would no longer provide animal control and fire services, and Broussard would no longer be allowed to tap into Lafayette's water system. As a show of good faith, Durel funded fire protection in Broussard's unincorporated areas after saying he'd cut funding. He also said he'd continue working with the city if the mayor would drop two lawsuits against Lafayette Consolidated Government. Last week was that deadline, but Broussard is not giving in.
But is the City of Broussard ready?
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel says he'll keep the timetable realistic. Fire dispatch and animal control could be cut as soon as 30 days if there is an opt-out clause.
"I believe the contract may expire Cctober 31," said Durel. "So it may be that they have until Cctober 31 to build their own dog pound, and animal control center, and buy the trucks, and vehicles and hire the people they need."
Durel says Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais will be forced to create an infrastructure to include water treatment, costing Broussard millions of dollars. He'll base his timeline, in part, on how long it took contractors to complete similar projects in Lafayette.
"If its two years, we'll give them two years," said Durel. "We're certainly not going to cut water off and we'll give them an adequate amount of time to build their own water plant."
KATC's Erin Steuber spoke to residents in Broussard who refused to go on camera because they're afraid how Mayor Langlinais will react. But say they"re tired of being stuck in the middle.
"There is a 40 year contract that stands between the City of Broussard and LUS," said Broussard spokesperson Amy Jones. "There is no provision in that contract that would allow for the parish president to simply terminate it."
Durel says Broussard breached the contract, making it null and void. Durel says there have been several issues of Broussard not paying for water, tapping into supplies without notifying LUS and tampering with meters.