The Lafayette City-Parish Council approved a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for retired some police officers and firefighters at its Feb. 18 meeting and announced the formation of a citizen committee that will evaluate government spending.

The retirement pay increase goes to retirees who were receiving benefits when state and local governments merged retirement systems in 1998. The city government agreed then to provide the increase if the state didn't do so — as is the case in 2014.

"As long as we have someone alive and participating in the system, our interpretation is that we have an obligation to pay the cost-of-living increase," said Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley.

Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups said the $308,252 payout for firefighters will come from the Firemen's Pension and Relief Fund, but its dwindling balance means an increase next year will need to come from the city's general fund.

Toups also requested an additional $31,441 to fund the police officer increase. Only $280,120 of the needed $311,561 was budgeted for those retirees in the general fund.

The council also made its first announcement of a "Future Needs/Funding Sources" committee. Council chair Kevin Naquin said the citizen group will look into government spending and offer suggestions on how to better fund things like public safety and city maintenance.