The New Iberia City Council discussed everything from roads to garbage on lots during Tuesday’s budget meetings.
The meeting was the second of three meetings meant for the council and Mayor Freddie DeCourt to get all necessary corrections in before the 2020 budget is approved.
City Treasurer Kevin Zerangue said the projected budget will bring in roughly $44 million in revenue and $48 million in expenses, with the excess funds being covered by undedicated money from the city.
As Zerangue went through the list of projected funds for the new fiscal year, some of the topics that came up included the city’s 2011 road bond project, which was completed years ago but still has a remaining balance of $71,000.
That money, DeCourt said, was meant to go toward striping roads in New Iberia, but a future state project is intending to do exactly that in the near future.
“I’m trying to get the most out of our MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) money and the state is supposed to come in and do some striping,” DeCourt said. “We’re not going to let our people do striping because of the liability. That would kill us.”
DeCourt said he’s hoping for the city to eventually float a new road bond within the next few years, and he and Zerangue were in the process of finding out whether the remaining funds from the 2011 series could be used for a new bond.
When a council member suggested that money go toward fixing roads right now, DeCourt said it would be an insult for the many roads that need help in the city.
“I think we need a road program,” DeCourt said. “Two blocks of repairs is just rubbing it in people’s faces, its saying we’ve got a big problem but we’re putting a bandaid on it. I think we need to try to fix the bigger picture.”
Mayor Pro Tem Dan Doerle also suggested using the remaining funds from the 2011 series on speed bumps in the city’s two parks, which might be discussed further.
“I wouldn’t mind putting them in the two parks,” DeCourt said.
DeCourt also discussed putting more money into the emergency fund in next year’s budget so the city will have more money to draw from in the case of multiple emergency events.
Councilman David Broussard brought up the longstanding problem of local residents dumping in illegal spots.
“One thing we’re doing now is spending money on no dumping signs,” DeCourt said. “The more we pick up the more they dump. The police are trying to deal with it but they have major crimes they’re dealing with.”