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LCG finalizes 2020 budget, $5 million to go towards Vermilion River

Posted at 9:45 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 12:11:41-04

LAFAYETTE — LCG's budget for the next fiscal year is now finalized. The budget approved by LCG includes $5 million dollars for dredging the Vermilion River.

The $5 million being put towards the Vermilion will come from cash reserves, according to The Daily Advertiser. This will essentially double the city's budget deficit. The paper also states that the study of the river is expected to be completed in December.

The council made it clear tonight drainage is a big priority.

In some cases, the choice was roads or drainage. The South City Parkway and Robley Extention are now on hold. Funds for those projects have moved to drainage.

Councilwoman Liz Hebert, projected the admendment.

"I don't love losing road projects, but I also don't want my constituents to be in a panic and be in PTSD every time it rains, so I'm okay with moving my road projects to storm water diversion," Hebert said.

Mayor-President Joel Robideaux was in favor of anything drainage related.

"They voted today to keep $40 million for drainage and to keep $7 million for Louisiana Avenue. My biggest issue with that... we're using city dollars outside of the city."

Council Member Jay Castille argued in favor of completing the Louisiana Avenue project.

Castille said, "This is a vital connection for to the city of Lafayette and the unincorporated areas and the northern part of the parish. We fought long and hard for this and I don't want to see it die with the last part hanging out there unfinished."

Meanwhile, the council voted down a request from Sheriff Mark Garber for $1.7 million to fund salaries at the parish jail.

According to The Advertiser, Garber has argued that the parish is "legally obligated" to pay for his deputies' salaries.

We've reached out to the sheriff's office for comment.

The Lafayette Parish Library System also saw changes after the budget meeting tonight, says The Advertiser. The System is projected to see a 24% decrease in property tax revenue. Also, funds for the library could be reallocated to drainage projects and parks and recreation.

Find more details from The Advertiser on the budget meeting here.

KATC will be live at LCG tonight to take a look at the details of the new budget. Watch our live stream below.