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Robideaux accuses library board of overspending on furniture for Scott library

Posted at 10:58 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 00:09:52-04

The Lafayette Public Library director is responding to criticism about spending at the new West Regional Library in Scott.

Inside, there are some unique pieces of furniture to which Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Joel Robideaux has an issue.

Among those pieces are stools made out of recycled skateboards and a booth incorporating an original Ford Mustang. The custom-made booth cost $10,587.

In an email sent to council members on April 24, Robideaux wrote, “I believe this type of spending demonstrates a complete disregard for taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars and further dispels any notion of fiscal responsibility by our current library leadership.”

Lafayette Public Library Director Teresa Elberson says she and the library board worked with a consultant and followed protocol.

“He questioned what he considered extravagant pieces. I think anybody that looks around [can say] we didn’t do anything different with this library than we’ve done with all of our libraries that we built,” said Elberson.

She says all the furniture fit into the budget. However, Robideaux is calling on council members to revisit rededicating even more of the library’s budget to roads and drainage.

Last month, the city-parish council approved a resolution that would take $10 million from the library’s $26 million fund balance. Robideaux originally wanted $18 million to be taken from the surplus.

“Taking that much money just puts a lot of things at risk. Definitely an expansion is at risk. And, this library here, even though we haven’t even opened it up, the plan is to someday expand. We bought six acres here,” said Elberson.

The West Regional Library will open May 13.