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Pushback on proposed Lafayette library tax could cost system $4.1 million

Sen. Gerald Boudreaux, who opposes the tax, says "enough is enough" in the lack of branch on Lafayette's northside.
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Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 05, 2021

LAFAYETTE PARISH — People in Lafayette will decide whether or not to renew a millage that, if not renewed, would cause the library to miss out on collecting $4.1 million. That's roughly 40 percent of their operating costs for nine branches across the parish, according to the library's system director.

"That's 38 percent of our budget," said Danny Gillane, the system's director. "We have the nine library branches and that is 30 percent of staffing, building maintenance, materials services, everything we pay. That's 40 percent."

Meanwhile, Sen. Gerald Boudreaux says the people he represents are not on board for the renewal.

In a letter, he says, "enough is enough" when it comes to talks of construction, maintenance, and operations of a library on the city's northside. He says people there have been patient and supported other tax renewals in other areas of the parish.

He also says he is disappointed with the library board and elected officials he believes have hijacked the library system.

Gillane says the board is in the works to expand services to that area of the parish.

"In the August public meeting of the library board, the board allowed me to discuss possibilities of, in our current budget, with the renewal passing, we have the money to build a library, we do not have the money to operate the library," he said.

In general, the board's consensus is that it would like to provide better library services to the "other side of the Evangeline Thruway," he said.

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