Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel Says Parish is Broke
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel said Thursday night that city and parish funds have been misallocated for quite some time now. In his budget proposal though, there are solutions on how to address the problem.
When city and parish governments were consolidated an allocation company was hired to perform an analysis every two years or so. Because the city provides services to the unincorporated areas of the parish, that analysis determines how much money should be allocated between the city and parish.
However, concerns about the allocation company were brought up by retired Chief Financial Officer Becky Lalumia, who said she wasn’t satisfied with the current allocation officer. Lalumia’s replacement, Lorrie Toups, began to raise the same concerns. Toups informed Durel that his administration was only being reimbursed by the unincorporated tax dollars at 16 percent, when in fact it should have been closer to 46 percent. This all based on the percentage of the population living in the unincorporated areas of the parish.
“We then find out…it looks like Public Works has been spending 60 percent of its time outside the city of Lafayette yet only getting reimbursed 30 percent,” says Durel.
“It’s against the law to spend city dollars outside of a city,” says Durel. “I have no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t malicious, but I have no doubt in my mind that it was done on purpose.”
Durel says this means one of two things — either city services to unincorporated areas will have to be scaled back or taxpayers will have to approve an increase in taxes for such services.