Confusion on Library funds forces Council to postpone rededication vote

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Lafayette City-Parish Council has chosen to postpone their vote, to rededicate surplus library funds for roads and drainage projects in the Parish, until April.

Most council members agreed they needed more information to make a decision, before calling for a special election in May, for the rededication of special taxes.
As we’ve reported, Mayor-President Joel Robideaux wants to rededicate about $18 of the $26 million of the library’s surplus budget.
That would leave the library with an $8 million reserve budget.
Councilman Bruce Conque talked about transferring $10 million from the library to the parish’s Public Works Department. 
However, at Tuesday’s meeting, there was still a ton of confusion about the current and past library millages and bonds, what funds they may have moving forward, and how the Mayor-President is coming up with his numbers.
“Because it’s your (ctizens) tax dollars, and we want you to tell us where you want to put it, and it’s really not more complicated than that,” said Robideaux.
He defended his proposal Tuesday to rededicate the surplus library funds to roads, bridges and drainage projects in the Parish.
“The bond issue and a construction millage were on the ballot at the same time, they both passed. The bond issue was to build libraries, the millage was to operate those libraries once they were built,’ said Teresa Elberson, the Library Director.
“When we bring a resolution or a proposal for you (citizens) to vote on new taxes or to increase it, nobody wants to do it,” said Kevin Naquin, Lafayette City-Parish Councilman.
Most council members agreed, that with the confusion over the bonds and millages, they needed more time to crunch the numbers.
“I can’t vote on anything, until I get to the bottom of this,” said Councilman Jay Castille.
“It concerns me, I did not do enough due diligence, that he (Robideaux) shared this information, at the very last minute, with a select few council members again just prior to this council meeting,” said Councilman Bruce Conque.
“But the problem is, we got set aside, so I don’t want this to lay flat. So what I would like, who is going to carry the ball between now and the next time this comes up,” questioned Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux.
Citizens voiced their opinions on whether they believe the vote should ultimetly be deferred, until the Council gets all the facts.
“The reason why I’m supporting this deferrment, is because this type of discussion has to go on before these things come before you guys (council members),” said one person.
“You are now going to spend 6 months of time delaying any potential construction, that would take place on the roads or the drainage,” said another.
The Library Director tells News 10 they are still crunching their numbers for the budget, to see how much money they need in surplus funds to operate the library efficiently into the future.
With this vote now delayed until the next council meeting in April, it most likely won’t be on your ballot to vote on, until October or November of this year.

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