LAFAYETTE, LA — It is the end of the road for a major Avenue expansion.
Tonight the Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) voted with the mayor-president’s budget veto.
It was a close five to four vote last month when the council decided to keep $7M in funding to the Louisiana Avenue expansion instead of storm drainage.
An extra vote was needed to override the veto tonight, but no one’s vote changed, and the veto override failed.
“Tell me why this isn’t a benefit to the city”, exclaimed District 4 Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux.
His plea and others essentially fell on deaf ears during Tuesday evening’s LCG meeting. Both Boudreaux and District 1 Councilman Kevin Naquin argued it was the only moral choice. “If you want to move the parish forward, move the city forward, you have to do what’s right”, said Naquin.
In all four councilmen wanted to make sure $7M of funding stayed to finish the fifth and final Louisiana Avenue expansion planned for over 40 years.
The other four councilmen in attendance were silent, speaking only to vote with Mayor-President Joel Robideaux who wanted Louisiana Avenue funding added to $39M set aside for drainage.
“It’s irresponsible for the city to pay for the road, take on the liability of maintaining the responsibility of that road, only have that road some place other than the city”, Robideaux argued.
The next closest city to the unincorporated area, Carencro, and its Mayor Glenn Brasseaux dissuaded those fears during public comment, “The city of Carencro does not want to annex that area. If we would have, we have done it in the 60’s and seventies when we annexed everything else”.
District 4 Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux was the most vocal supporter, “Why move the money? It’s a matter of time. The annex is going to happen. If you move it, it’s over.”
He said Louisiana Avenue was originally intended to become a hurricane evacuation route, but along every preceding phase economic development has followed.
District 2 Councilman Jay Castille represents the area that would be most impacted by the expansion to Gloria Switch Road. He said, “Stopping this project where it is, is detrimental to the northern part of the city, the northern part of the parish, and the entire city of Lafayette”.
Despite believing in transferring funding, Mayor-President Robideaux said if the unincorporated area is annexed into Lafayette, Louisiana Avenue funding should be restored. Robideaux has already started to process to see what is necessary to annex the land into the city.