Lafayette Parish Council Adds $200K to Keep Parks & Rec Centers Open
The Lafayette Parish Council voted last night to commit money to help keep the four threatened city recreation centers open.
The funds will require city approval but would go towards reimbursing up to $200K spent on the maintenance and operations of all sites.
The $200K would be transferred from $10M that voters rededicated out of the library fund in 2019. The council said that amount was all they could afford to keep the rec centers operating and maintained for another year.
Some citizens at the meeting argued that more should be done.
"$200K, $300K, whatever it is, that's a spit in the face, man," argued Lafayette resident Albert Johnson.
District 1 Parish Councilman Kevin Naquin rebutted, "I wouldn't say that the $200K is a spit in the face. I would say that the $200K should be greatly appreciated because the parish doesn't really have anything to offer, and we're able to scrape up $200K."
Mayor-President Josh Guillory and the council recognize the money allocation as an act of unity on the issue that raised such an ire within the communities of the rec centers that were proposed to close.
However, moves like this are viewed by many as merely "kicking the can" down the road. The council warned that unless people ask for more taxes, not all cuts can be undone.
"Until that changes, we're going to see budget cuts. You're going to see year after year fighting, scrapping, clawing to keep services going," Naquin said.