Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, along with councilmen Jared Bellard, Kevin Naquin, and William Theriot have co-authored a resolution that would take 18 million dollars of library surplus money and use it for infrastructure. Taking those 18 million dollars would only leave the library with an 8-million-dollar surplus. Councilman Bruce Conque wants to amend the resolution.
“My proposal would shift 10 million dollars from the reserve fund, leaving the library with 16 [million], and that would better prepare it for the future, pertaining to capital improvement projects that are being planned and for other unexpected expenses,” Conque said.
Conque says the library currently has 41 million dollars in surplus. With 15 million dollars going towards a new library in Scott, the library will only be left with 26 million dollars in surplus.
“What’s critical now is that the library in the next budget will lose over three million dollars in property tax income. Last year, the voters chose not to renew a property tax. In 2022, we have another property tax expiring, and I am not overly optimistic that it will be renewed,” Conque said.
He says that’s a possibility of a total of 7.7 million dollars in lost tax revenues, and he doesn’t want to short change the library as they move into the future.
“After meeting with library officials, I am convinced that they are comfortable with the transferring of monies, that they continue providing exemplary service as they do today well into the future, and anticipating new capital improvement projects, and the obvious reduction of income because of the property tax loss,” Conque said.
Conque says he understands there are drainage issues that need to be addressed, but he doesn’t want to negatively impact one service in order to improve another.