Council Preview: New council leadership and a rush to spend ARPA funds

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
Council Chairs

Every year, the City Council and Parish Council each elect a chair and vice chair to oversee their meetings. Council chairs run their respective council’s meetings all year and are in charge of calling special and emergency meetings, giving them power over how their council acts in time-sensitive situations. They also have some discretion over what is allowed on their council’s agenda, though the administration and other council members can still put items before their council without chair approval. .

Parish Council

Officer Election

Chair & vice chair votes. The Parish Council will elect a new chair and vice chair Tuesday to oversee its meetings in 2024. Last year’s chair, Josh Carlson, left the council for a seat in the state House this year, leaving the Parish Council’s three returning members (John Guilbeau, Bryan Tabor and A.B. Rubin) as presumptive nominees for the spot. The new chair’s approach could define the council’s initial relationship with new Mayor-President Monique Blanco Boulet after four years of relative harmony between former M-P Josh Guillory and the previous Parish Council.

Final Adoption

Louisiana Avenue. The Parish Council will vote Tuesday on plans to move $413,000 to the Louisiana Avenue extension project by cutting $229,000 from the E. Broussard Road and Robley Drive roundabout project and $184,000 from the W. Broussard Road and Duhon Road roundabout project.

Introduction

Parish ARPA rush. Faced with a Dec. 31 deadline to spend $47 million in federal coronavirus relief funds, the Parish Council will look at a plan left by Guillory’s administration to shuffle about $10 million between existing projects to ensure the entire $47 million is spent on eligible work before the end of the year. The move would generally take time-sensitive stimulus funds away from larger infrastructure projects and put them toward more routine maintenance costs, replacing local tax dollars in the process. Those local funds would then be reassigned to the larger infrastructure projects, though not all of them are in line to have their funding replaced.

City Council

Officer Election

Chair & vice chair votes. The City Council will also pick new leadership Tuesday. Last year’s chair, Glenn Lazard, did not run for reelection, and only two members of the last City Council are returning this year, making Councilwoman Liz Hebert the presumptive chair nominee as the council’s longest continuously serving member. Three of the council’s five members are starting their first terms Tuesday, though Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux is returning from a one-term hiatus after serving 12 years on the former City-Parish Council. The new City Council’s relationship with M-P Boulet is of particular interest after the previous City Council spent the majority of its four-year term feuding with former M-P Guillory.

Final Adoption

No significant items.

Introduction

City ARPA rush. The City Council will also look at a plan from Guillory’s administration to shuffle about $18 million in time-sensitive federal funds between projects to meet the Dec. 31 deadline to spend the city’s $38 million award. Most projects are in line for an even swap with city capital outlay funds, but a few are not, most notably $5.4 million for Downtown drainage improvements, which is effectively being cut to $4.4 million that will be spent on drainage citywide.

Joint Items

Resolutions

City-parish attorney. Both councils will vote Tuesday on a resolution approving former City-Parish Attorney Pat Ottinger’s return to LCG. Ottinger served as top legal adviser to former City-Parish President Joey Durel from 2004 to 2011 and approval from both councils is required for him to assume the position from Guillory’s C-P attorney, Greg Logan.

Final Adoption

No significant items.

Introduction

No significant items.

Property

AddressApprovalAction
419 Lafayette St.Joint councilsSale of adjudicated property to adjoining landowner [Resolution]
607 South Bienville St.Joint councilsSale of adjudicated property to adjoining landowner [Resolution]
323 Portlock St.Joint councilsSale of adjudicated property to adjoining landowner [Resolution]
Ivywood Subdivision, 400 block Bayou Tortue RoadParish CouncilAppeal of Parish Planning Commission Action
1700 Block E Broussard RoadCity CouncilAnnexation and assignment of Residential Mixed (RM-1) zoning [Final]
4800 Block W Congress St.City CouncilRezoning from Residential Single-Family (RS-1) to Residential Mixed (RM-1) [Final]
4603 Johnston St.City CouncilRezoning from Commercial Heavy (CH) to Commercial Mixed (CM-1) [Intro]
101 Brightwood DriveCity CouncilRezoning from Residential Mixed (RM-1) to Mixed-Use Neighborhood (MN-1) [Intro]
200 block Moss St.City CouncilApproving a conditional use permit for a duplex in Residential Single-Family (RS-1) [Intro]
922-1300 S Hugh Wallis Road (Even numbers only)City CouncilRezoning from Industrial Light (IL) to Mixed-Use Neighborhood (MN-1) [Intro]
1003 N University Ave.Joint councilsDonation of adjudicated property to nonprofit Sun Community Housing Development Organization [Intro]
Planned council actions related to property, such as rezonings, annexations and disposition of adjudicated properties

Vacancies

BoardApprovalQualifications
Lafayette Parish Waterworks District North BoardParish CouncilMust reside in Waterworks District North
Lafayette Public Innovation Alliance Board (three seats)Parish CouncilNone listed
Lafayette Parish Waterworks District South BoardParish CouncilMust reside in Waterworks District South
Parish Planning and Zoning CommissionParish CouncilNone listed
Keep Lafayette Beautiful CommitteeParish CouncilNone listed
Industrial Development Board (two seats)Parish CouncilNone listed
Applicants must be residents and registered voters of Lafayette Parish. Resumes should be emailed to [email protected] by noon on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023.

Appointments

BoardApprovalApplicants
Parish Planning and Zoning CommissionParish CouncilWalter Arceneaux (incumbent)
LCG Professional Services Review CommitteeParish CouncilOne Parish Council member (incumbent Bryan Tabor)
Lafayette Mayor-President’s Awareness Committee on Citizens with DisabilitiesULL PresidentLaynie Stevens
Downtown Development AuthorityCity CouncilDelaney Meaux Larson, Jaci Russo, C. Brett Venable (no incumbent)
Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment TeamCity CouncilCory McCoy (no incumbent)
City CouncilBrenda Andrus, Alzina Dural (incumbent), Kristopher Harrison, Roger Lehman
Lafayette Science Museum Advisory BoardCity CouncilMichael Zeek (no incumbent)
Heymann Performing Arts Center BoardCity CouncilJill Listi Munchrath (no incument)
LCG Professional Services Review CommitteeCity CouncilOne City Council member (incumbent Andy Naquin)