Council rejects Robideaux’s second request for $18 million in surplus Library funds


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – On Tuesday night the Lafayette City-Parish Council rejected Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’ proposal.

Robideaux wanted to rededicate $18 million in library surplus funds and move it towards roads, bridges and drainage work in the Parish.

This is the second time the council has rejected his request.

At their meeting on April 9, the Council chose to only take $10 million of library surplus funds.
$8 million would go towards roads, bridges and drainage, and $2 million would go towards the Parks and Recreation Department.

“Motion to adopt fails.”

It was a 7 to 2 vote.
After about 14 citizens made their voices heard on the controversial issue, the $10 million in surplus funds previously decided by the Council, is staying the same.

“We can live with 10 (million). We don’t like it, but we can live with it. There’s no way we could live with 18 (million),” said Nora Stelly, President of the Library Board of Control.

Recently, a new chapter of criticism towards the library’s spending came from the Mayor-President, after realizing how much money was spent on new furniture at the new West Regional Library in Scott.

“I’m not mad at the library, I’m not trying to kill the library. I’m saying, it’s my job to look at the numbers and to dig through this budget, and to find out where we’re collecting taxes, and to write signs of where we can to let people know when we have money that can be used somewhere’s else,” said Mayor-President Robideaux.

Some residents questioned the library’s spending on furniture for the new Scott location.

“When you consider the budgets families and businesses have to adhere too, any possible justification for that expense, is a question for the ages,” said one resident.

And some, defended the library.

“For our mayor to take to social media in an attempt to undermine trust in our Public Library System, is very disappointing,” said another resident.

$10 million for drainage is a win, that’s $10 million we weren’t going to have on roads, bridges and drainage, that’s a win. The (proposed) Northeast Library’s a win,” said Robideaux.

At the library’s board of control meeting yesterday, the Board proposed if the $10 million rededication does pass on the ballot in October, in their upcoming budget proposal:
 – $8 million would go towards a new Northeast Regional Library
 – $4 million would go towards for an expansion of the North Regional Library in Carencro.
 – They’re proposing to roll forward an existing mileage in 2020.

Councilman Boudreaux on Tuesday saying he’s ready to get the ball rolling on the new library in the northeast part of the Parish, and hopes budget discussions begin soon.

The new West Regional Library in Scott opens up on May 13.

Voters will head to the polls to decide on the rededication of surplus funds, in October.

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