Lafayette

Feb 29, 2012 7:16 PM by Shawn Kline

The mysterious disappearance of Judice parking lot funding

City-Parish President Joey Durel vetoed a plan to give Judice Park a paved parking lot. Here's the history of the project:

In 2009, the City-Parish Council approved funding to pave Judice Park and Carencro Park for about $150,000. Durel vetoed that project but the council over-rode his veto.
In 2010, crews paved the lot at Carencro Park but Judice was mysteriously put on hold.
Now, council is trying to find a way to get the ball rolling. Councilman Jared Bellard says the only person who can do that is President Durel, leading to some heated discussion at last night's meeting.

Now, the gravel parking lot is in the middle of a Lafayette political feud.

"All I would ask is which project would you like to take money from to get this done?" Durel asked Bellard. "Obviously, it's an important project to you," Durel said.

"Mr. Durel," Bellard responded. "The money is already there and it's been there since 2009."

Nothing has changed at Judice Park since 2009 and now the funding set-aside is due to expire later this year.

"The money is there, it's been allocated to us." Karen Guilbeau said. "It's just been sitting there and put on hold and we just want that money released that's rightfully ours."

SouthWest Athletics President Karen Guilbeau says some people aren't going to games because the parking lot, the way it is, is not exactly handicapped-friendly.

"We want to be able to give that access for them to get there without struggling through gravel," Guilbeau said.

"I was asked to go out there to look at flooding issues, to look at road issues," Durel said. "I was never asked to go out there and look at a parking lot."

President Durel says a parking lot was never on his list of priorities. On the other side, Councilman Bellard is pushing to get this project off hold before the funding is lost.
Bellard says politics need to be taken out of the decision making process, which he says is holding this project back.

Durel says he would like to work with the park board to get some funding for pavement. He says while the entire project may be pricey but paving a section could be a possibility.

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