The Lafayette Parish Council is slated to consider the creation of a commission that will review the findings of the "Protect the City" committee that has been in the news lately.
If approved, the commission would be charged with looking at consolidation from a parish perspective - as the PTCC is looking at it from a city perspective - to determine if it is fair to everyone, and if it should be reversed.
Interestingly, the commission would be charged with determining if any parish funds are being spent in the city - not if city funds are being spent in the parish. Historically, the parish has been struggling with meager tax income while the city has had hundreds of millions more in income - and it has been spent in the unincorporated areas on a regular basis since consolidation happened more than 20 years ago. In fact, the PTCC found that consolidation has been unfairly burdensome on the city, especially in terms of finances.
The commission is being proposed to save time, the ordinance states, so that the parish council can be knowledgeable about the issues at hand.
The Parish Council also will consider the donation of land to Culture Ministries, a local 501(c)3 organization affiliated with The Rock church which helps those in need. The property being three lots - 118, 119 and 120 - of Rue Royale in Lafayette. The taxes on the vacant lots haven't been paid since 2009, according to records with the Lafayette Tax Assessor's Office.
On both councils' agendas is an ordinance that would remove the requirement that one member of the Lafayette Airport Commission be African American. This is being required by the Federal Aviation Administration, and will have to be done if the airport wants to continue receiving federal grants - which is a significant amount of money.
In the letter requesting the change, the FAA says that while trying to achieve diversity on the commission is a good idea, the method Lafayette has been using is not an effective one, and it's not narrow enough to pass Constitutional muster. If someone decided to sue over it, a court would probably find that it was a discriminatory requirement, the letter opines.
On the City Council agenda is a potential executive session about the council's attempts to hire its own attorney to provide advice, especially during conflicts with Mayor-President Josh Guillory. Since Guillory selected City-Parish Attorney Greg Logan, council members voted to select and hire their own attorney - and Logan sued over it.
Also on the City Council agenda are ordinances for final adoption that would:
Transfer $100,000 of prior year unused fund balance to Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Transfer of $100,000 of prior year unused fund balance to Festival International de Louisiane.
Donation of two fire rescue trucks to the Lafayette Sheriff's Department.
An agreement that would lease property between Heymann Memorial Park and PASA Place to Ochsner Lafayette General to build a parking garage.
Up for introduction are ordinances that would:
Transfer $1 million from the City Council's capital reserve to various accounts in the Parks and Recreation Department for upgrades and improvements.
Transfer $1.2 million in federal COVID block grant funds to Acadiana Cares, Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana, Hospice of Acadiana, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Lafayette Council on Aging, to deliver community-based services in response to COVID-19.
Transfer $90,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to The Hub Lafayette Urban Ministries.
To see the agendas for yourself, along with all attachments to each item, click here and then select the date of the meeting, which is July 6.