With city-parish budget being slashed, fight forming over Cajundome funding

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Department budgets are being slashed left and right after Mayor-President Josh Guillory asked department heads to make cuts of 20%.

However, the Cajundome has not adjusted their budged for the 2020-21 fiscal year, it remains at 500 thousand. This is the same as previous years.

This is a concern for Councilman Pat Lewis who represents the 1st district. Four recreational centers are planned to be shut down within this district.

Councilwoman Liz Herbert issued an amendment at a city budget meeting, asking for the 500 thousand to be approved for the dome. This would be up for vote. Lewis issued another amendment, to block Herbert from approving the funding this early. Lewis believes all options should be considered as to where money is going.

The council explains the dome brings an incredible amount of revenue into the area from taxes.

However, the  Cajundome could still be fighting for funding. The director is asking for the 500 thousand too pay for bills and maintain the bare minimum. Recently, 32 people were laid off and another 11 were furloughed. This means only six people are running the dome at this time.

A concern from Lewis is whether or not the dome will be able to recover from the harsh financial damages from COVID. Director Pam Deville said she expects a net loss of 2.2 million at the end of August. This comes after the dome cancelling 27 events this year.

“We’ve laid off people, probably over 140 people- cut salaries. We’re also trying to do things to keep our recreation centers open. It’ll be hard for me to support you in this…,” Lewis said to Deville.

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