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Councils review proposed budget, LCG releases statement on rec center closures

Posted at 8:01 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 22:51:12-04

Tonight, the Lafayette City and Parish Councils are reviewing Mayor-President Josh Guillory's proposed budget.

The councils are discussing parks and recreation, community development, development and planning, and other topics.

Thursday, the Guillory administration is reversing its earlier decision to close four recreation centers on Lafayette's north side.

In a news release, Guillory said all parks and rec facilities in Lafayette Parish will stay open.

He added that the proposed executive budget for fiscal year 2021 calls for the parks and recreation department to fund operations with the income received from the current dedicated property tax and revenues generated during the fiscal year.

We asked LCG what changed since the announcement to close the rec centers several weeks ago.

A spokesperson said simply that they had more time to look through things and adapt to that funding. The spokesperson said that Guillory's proposal would not bring back the 37 employees, but they might be able to fund some additional part-time employees.

The proposed funds are sufficient to operate all facilities and services.

City Councilman Glenn Lazard is proposing an amendment to the parks and rec budget. He wants to increase the budget by $3.5 million, using money from the city's general fund.

If that amendment would pass, it would help keep the 37 employees set to be laid off on staff.

City Councilman Andy Naquin opposes the proposed amendment.

Guillory says that the LCG general fund is subsidizing one of its own departments by funding it.

KATC Investigates looked at Lafayette's recreation numbers compared to other areas. Take a look at that information HERE.

Parks and rec was a hot topic at the meeting, with the discussion continuing for more than three hours and 22 members of the public making comments.

Also discussed was community development, with many speaking on the status of the Lafayette Science Museum. An LCG spokesperson says it will not close.

LCG's full statement:

"Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory reiterates that Lafayette Consolidated Government's (LCG) Parks and Recreation facilities will remain open with normal operating hours and services. This includes the J. Carlton James Activity Center, George Bowles Activity Center, Heymann Park Recreation Center, and Domingue Recreation Center. Recreation Center hours of operation are 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM Monday through Friday; for Saturday operating hours contact each center directly. The J. Carlton James Activity Center is open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday and the George Bowles Activity Center is open by reservation; call (337) 291-8360 for rental information.

The proposed executive budget for fiscal year 2021 calls for the Parks and Recreation Department to fund operations with the income received from the current dedicated property tax and revenues generated during the fiscal year. The proposed funds are sufficient to operate all facilities and services.

For questions about Parks and Recreation services and operating times, please call (337) 291-8374."

Once the budget hearing wraps up today, it will continue next Thursday morning, August 13, at 9 a.m.

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