LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette Consolidated Government held its weekly press conference on Tuesday to discuss the aftermath of last week's winter weather, the upcoming city-parish council meeting and a new little league program.
LCG Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle thanked the Lafayette Utilities System and its staff for their work to deal with issues during last week's historic winter weather that left many without power or water.
Angelle said LUS had a rapid mobilization and response to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s request for power conservation.
MISO had ordered utility companies across the state to initiate rolling blackouts on Feb. 16 to alleviate the amount of load on the electric grid system due to the continued low temperatures and the increased demand for power.
Angelle said that the need for rolling blackouts was minimal and only affected a small portion of Lafayette thanks to residents heeding the call to conserve power consumption.
"The event did highlight the importance of having more locally-generated power, so that we're not solely reliant on our regional grid," Angelle said.
He added that he's spoken to LUS Interim Director Lowell Duhon who has confirmed that LUS electric customers should not see any significant increase in the next billing cycle due to the impact from the winter storm.
Angell said that there were a significant number of pipes that burst during the storm that led to reduced pressure, which led to the many boil advisories being enacted.
All LUS water boil advisories have been lifted as of Tuesday.
However, if LUS customers have experienced an issue due to freezing pipes, then there is a form that they can request for the wastewater part of their bill to be reduced if they have a receipt or certification from a plumber showing that they did have difficulties with their pipes.
That form is available by contacting LUS Customer Service.
Angelle also discussed the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Lafayette Parish.
He said the percent positivity rate for Lafayette Parish remains at 3.8%.
If the percent positivity rate remains under 5% after Wednesday's update from the Louisiana Department of Health, then Angelle said that Mayor-President Josh Guillory will notify Gov. John Bel Edwards that Lafayette Parish will opt-in to allow bars to reopen.
Angelle also discussed Tuesday's city and parish council meetings where they will vote on a joint ordinance to increase the budget for about $7.3 million in Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds received from the U.S. Department of the Treasury from the CARES Act.
He said that the funds would be routed to small community activist agencies as well as charities such as Catholic Charities of Acadiana.
Angelle said that if the ordinance is approved at Tuesday's meeting then there are still additional processes that need to be addressed before the funds are distributed. These fund will go directly to either landlord or utility provider, he added.
LCG Parks and Recreation Athletic Supervisor Walter Guillory also announced a new little league initiative for Lafayette and surrounding parishes, called the Greater Lafayette Little League.
The LCG Parks and Recreation Department formed the Greater Lafayette Little League to expand baseball and softball opportunities for youth in Lafayette and nearby parishes.
"This can open up opportunities to have tournaments in areas that otherwise would not host them," said Guillory. "This is especially true given the areas near the interstate. We feel like this could be a springboard to bigger and better things."
The Greater Lafayette Little League is the second chartered league in Lafayette, with the first being the Lafayette Little League, which was formed in 1972. Each league can draw players from their respective boundaries.
The Greater Lafayette Little League encompasses the following areas:
- West to Acadia Parish, including Crowley, Rayne, and surrounding areas
- North to St. Landry Parish, including Opelousas, Sunset, Grand Coteau, and surrounding areas
- East to St. Martin Parish, including Breaux Bridge, Arnaudville, Cecilia, and surrounding areas
Boys and girls ages 4-18 are eligible to play and must register by March 18. The Greater Lafayette Little League season runs April 15 - May 27. Post-season tournaments are scheduled for May 28 - 30.
To register, call any of the following Lafayette Parks and Recreation staff members:
- Athletics Supervisor Walter Guillory, 337-291-8375
- Recreation Coordinator Bill Verret, 337-291-8368
- Recreation Coordinator Anthony DeRousselle, 337-291-8380
For more information about the Greater Lafayette Little League, contact Lafayette Parks and Recreation Athletics Supervisor Walter Guillory, (337) 291-8375 or email@example.com.
The full press briefing can be viewed below:
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