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Lafayette councils discuss CARES funding, employee pay increases

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Posted at 7:50 PM, Nov 04, 2020

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette City and Parish Councils met Wednesday evening to discuss CARES funding, new sidewalks and pay increases for employees.

First on the agenda was a city ordinance that would create a new fund named Police & Fire Sustainability and Resiliency (Fund 278) to support and fund cost of living adjustments for the Lafayette Police and Lafayette Fire Departments.

Council members approved the ordinance unanimously, and also approved a transfer of $10,000,000 out of the city's general fund from the proceeds of the CARES Act reimbursements that the city received.

The new fire and police fund will not deplete the city's general fund, but will contain reimbursed funds from the federal government through the CARES Act.

According to Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory, Lafayette hasn't yet received the more than $13 million it was approved for through the CARES Act, but the ordinance is in anticipation of that money coming in.

LCG Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups said the fund should last around four years, and added that the fund "shows good fiscal responsibility."

Any withdrawal from the fund must be approved by the council.

The councils also approved a joint council ordinance to amend the FY 20-21 operating budget to account for anticipated CARES Act funding.

LCG applied and was approved for CARES Act funding in the amount of $13,851,870.72. These funds will reimburse $13,844,126.61 in expenses incurred by LCG and $7,744.11 in expenses incurred by the Lafayette City Court to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council members unanimously approved a 2% pay increase for all full-time classified and unclassified employees, as well as eligible employees and officials.

Councilmembers Nanett Cook and Liz Hebert requested an amendment to exclude elected officials and employees of the Mayor-President's office who received an increase through the recent budget process.

The city council approved the use of around $600,000 to construct new sidewalks along 6th Street and near Northside High School.

Planning Manager Kathy Gilbert explained that the project's cost accounts for possible drainage or other issues that may come up because there have never been sidewalks in that area.

Sidewalks will also be constructed along South College Road, between Johnston and Horseshoe Streets, an area Councilman Andy Naquin called "not very safe" due to the lack of sidewalks.

The cost for that project should be around $772,000.

Watch the full meetings below:

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