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Lafayette City-Parish Council approves alcohol delivery ordinance, defers Vermilion River dredging item

Posted at 9:02 PM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 00:17:48-05

An ordinance that would allow alcohol delivery in the City of Lafayette was approved in a 8-1 vote at tonight's City-Parish Council meeting.

Councilman William Theriot voted against the ordinance, saying that he personally does not drink.

Restaurants, package stores, like Walmart, and third-party delivery services, like Waitr, will be able to deliver alcohol to residential or commercial properties once they obtain a permit.

Just after the start of the Lafayette City-Parish Council regular meeting, an item to approve $5 million for dredging the Vermilion River was deferred indefinitely. However, District 7 Councilwoman Nanette Cook addressed the deferment and stated that the money was still available and was still set aside for the dredging.

"The Vermilion River dredging project is not, not going forward," Cook said.

Near the end of the council meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve all introductory ordinances.

One of the ordinances would give city court employees, excluding judges, a five-percent pay raise.

The introductory ordinance was approved Judge Douglas Saloom questioned why his employees were not part of the ordinance that would give city-parish workers a raise.

That ordinance will go up for vote at the next council meeting on Dec. 17.

The Lafayette Public Utilities Authority also met on Tuesday ahead of the Lafayette City-Parish Council regular meeting. The LPUA unanimously approved a companion vote to give a five percent pay raise to all LCG employees. That raise will now go into effect on Dec. 16, which will be the last pay period of the year for LCG employees.

Before the vote, District 6 Councilman Bruce Conque asked Mayor-President Joel Robideaux directly if he would veto the ordinance. Robideaux responded that he would not veto the measure.

Asked by District 8 Councilwoman Liz W. Hebert about the financial concerns that the raises would have on the city general fund, Lafayette Consolidated Government Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups responded that after more review of the raise's financial impact, it would cost the city $100,000 less that previously thought.

"We still have a large mountain to climb," responded Toups. "It's hard for me to say that this raise alone will put us in any worse shape than we're already in."

Hebert also did not introduce any ordinance to call for an independent audit into LUS and LUS Fiber after Robideaux made a presentation at the last LPUA meeting on Nov. 19.

KATC spoke with Hebert after the LPUA meeting to ask why she decided not to call for the audit after publicly stating her intention to do so at last month's meeting. This meeting was the last time that the LPUA could introduce ordinances to be adopted at its final meeting of the year on Dec. 17.

Hebert said that she was not calling for the audit now because she had not finished doing her due diligence in investigating the matter and examining the procedures, costs and timeline of initiating an independent audit in time for Tuesday's meeting. She added that she still intends to call for one, but that matter would now have to be taken up by the next, separate city and parish councils when they are seated next year.

Hebert also added that Republic Services in Lafayette is under new leadership.

"I'm happy to say we have a brand new leadership team in Lafayette for Republic Services."

She says, "Since working with this new team, the quality of service and the communication has improved significantly."

Hebert also said she's received fewer calls about missed pickups since the new team came in.

Republic Services says they are still improving service and they're not where they want to be just yet. They say they've "radically identified" where the missed pickups were happening. They appreciate the constructive criticism.

Representatives with Republic were called before the council in August after LCG received more than 13,000 complaints against the company in the past three years.