Council Preview: Performing arts center and public records back on city agenda 

Illustration: Two figures peeking under a giant rug-sized Lafayette Consolidated Government logo
Illustration by Peter DeHart

Here is a selection of items on the agendas for this week’s meetings of the City and Parish councils. To see the full agendas, check out the links below:

Lafayette 101
Separate and together

By charter, both the City of Lafayette and Lafayette Parish still exist as legal entities. Their governmental functions are consolidated. Most assets — land, infrastructure, capital — are owned separately by those entities.

Parish Council

Final Adoption

Andover, Switzerland, Denais bridge replacements. These ordinances authorize the mayor-president to acquire land either amicably or through expropriation to replace bridges on Andover Road, Switzerland Road, and Denais Road.

City Council

Resolutions

Public process for the new Heymann Center. This resolution formalizes the City Council’s desire to engage in a public process to study the relative economic impact of potential sites for a new performing arts center. This item was deferred at the last council meeting.

Reports

Heymann Park Project Update. This report has been requested by Glenn Lazard. The Guillory administration detoured plans for a new amphitheater earlier this year weeks before the project was slated to go to bid. Instead, LCG has pushed for a much bigger revamp of the park.

Final Adoption

No significant items.

Introduction

A city-only public records policy. This ordinance is a second stab at creating a new public records policy. Revised as a city-only policy, this version also removes the public records clerk position proposed earlier. It would establish new rules for producing public records in response to the Guillory administration’s decision to charge $1 per page to email public records earlier this summer.

Joint Items

Final Adoption

Raises (again). A set of ordinances proposes raises for top administrators at LCG, including the mayor-president, chief administrative office and chief financial officer. This ordinance increases the salary of the CFO by $35,272 (current CFO Lorrie Toups plans to retire in February). This ordinance increases the fire chief’s salary by $32,651 and the CAO’s by $10,169 immediately, and it approves increasing the mayor-president’s salary to $170,000 starting in January 2024.

More bridges. These ordinances authorize the mayor-president to acquire land either amicably or through expropriation to replace bridges on Tolson Road and Serenity Drive.

Grant consultants for federal funds. This ordinance authorizes the Community Development and Planning Department to apply for grants without first getting approval from the Councils. This ordinance moves $250,000 from the joint drainage fund and $250,000 from the city’s capital fund to fund line items for the parish and city to hire consultants to help apply for grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Introduction

Donation of land. This ordinance authorizes the acquisition of land donated by Chevron to LCG. This land consists of 6 acres adjacent to Heymann Park. Assets are typically owned by the city or the parish, not by Lafayette Consolidated Government. Yet this ordinance would accept the donation of land to LCG.

New public records policy. This ordinance establishes new rules for public records, including a bill of rights. It adopts a new fee schedule, abolishing the $1-per-page fee imposed by the Guillory administration to email digital copies of records. The policy also creates a public records clerk position within the council office. This ordinance failed to get introduced at the last Parish Council meeting, with co-sponsor Parish Councilman Josh Carlson expressing concerns about the policy as written.

Property

AddressApprovalAction
100 Block of Serenity DriveParish CouncilNon-warranty cash sale to adjoining landowner
200 Block of Rue FosseParish CouncilNon-warranty cash sale to adjoining landowner
144 East Cypress StJoint CouncilNon-warranty cash sale to adjoining landowner
Council actions related to property, such as rezonings, annexations and disposition of adjudicated properties.