The Lafayette City-Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse a bill proposed by state Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, that would exempt the Horse Farm property from the public lease law. Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel joined “Nathan and Bernie in the Morning” today to explain why he believes the bill is important for the growth of the Horse Farm.

"It’s really all about trying to make us a little bit more efficient and not waste dollars," said Durel. "It only applies to land adjacent to the Horse Farm."

Louisiana’s public lease law requires governmental bodies to make bidding for projects on public property open to the public. The bill, as proposed, would allow the Horse Farm property to streamline the process of acquiring land, avoiding the advertising for public bids and legal processes required by state law.

Durel cited the recent parking garage project at the Heymann Center as an example of the state required processes the proposed bill would help avoid.

As you know, we now have a new $8 million parking garage at the Heymann Center, paid for by Lafayette General Hospital. Lafayette General approached us and said they’d like to build a new parking garage. They said it would cost us nothing and patrons at the Heymann Center could use it for free.

In order to do that, we had to go through all kinds of motions of legal fees and advertising to see if anybody else out there would like to bid on building us a new $8 million parking garage and not charge people.

Land adjacent to the Horse Farm would have to go through the same time consuming process of advertising for public bids, something Durel hopes can be avoided if this bill passes.

"It doesn’t take anything away from the public," said Durel. "It just lets us avoid spending dollars advertising something that we know nobody will respond to."

To listen to the full audio from the interview, click the play button below: