NEW IBERIA — Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator expressed concern Thursday that the deconsolidation of the Lafayette city-parish government could put a financial strain on Youngsville.
Viator said if the city-parish government splits into two entities, rural residents in unincorporated areas around Youngsville may want to annex their property into the city so they can still receive services, such as utilities and road work.
Supporting a larger population could cost Youngsville more money with little help coming from a shrinking parish government, he said.
Viator voiced his concerns after listening to a presentation by Bruce Conque, Lafayette Charter Commission member, concerning the Lafayette city-parish deconsolidation proposition, which will be on the Oct. 22 ballot.
The proposition, if approved, would separate the currently fused city and parish governments in 2016.
Conque said the city and the parish’s finances are handled separately — even though they are considered an entity.
The city has a $410 million budget, and the parish has a $13 million budget with $10 million paid to the city to provide infrastructure services, such as road work and drainage, Conque said.
Under deconsolidation, this payment by the parish to the city for services would remain in place, he said.
Conque also said that if other cities in the parish annex rural property, then the parish government’s sales tax collections would disappear. The only tax left for the parish would be property taxes, he said, and the parish could raise property taxes to generate revenue.
The City Council took no action on Conque’s presentation.