POSTED: Monday, February 25, 2013 - 11:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 25, 2013 - 11:34pm
Lafayette, LA (NBC33) — A state of the art waste transfer facility was in the making in north Lafayette. All permits were acquired according to the rules of government, and after construction began Lafayette city council voted unanimously to pull all permits shutting construction down completely.
This became a constitutional issue, which was then brought into federal court. Lafayette government knew the potential lawsuit could be up to $7 to $8 million. Negotiations were made and a $3.4 million settlement was approved last week. Mayor Joey Durel says this could be one of the worst mistakes the city council has made.
"It certainly has serious implications on property rights. It sent a very bad message to the business world..Is it risky to do business in Lafayette," says Mayor Durel.
Mayor Durel says because the case was in federal court, a federal judge is able to help the government find where the money will come from. In this case the City-Parish Government will use tax money dedicated to Mosquito Control to pay the $3.4 million settlement. Durel calls the settlement a "lesser of all evils" because the Mosquito Control Property Tax brings in more revenue than has been used for mosquito control. It is one of the few areas of a strained city-parish budget to find $3.4 million without a corresponding cut.