Mar 28, 2012 7:26 PM by Maddie Garrett

LCG $5 Million Deficit Could Leave Arts Groups High and Dry

A $5 million deficit has Lafayette City-Parish council members debating on how to fill the gap, by either making cuts for next year's budget, or increasing revenues. Talks of cuts could mean the deficit might hurt arts and public service organizations in Lafayette.

"With our current budget we are a little over $5 million in deficit, and one of the things the administration was asking was the council to give any solutions," said LCG Council Member Jared Bellard.

Bellard said one of his suggestions is to cut funding for non-government groups such as non-profits and arts organizations.

"I think all agencies that we fund are great agencies, I really do. The only problem is where do you draw the line on what you're going to pick to choose to balance a budget, we don't have the extra money like we used to have," said Bellard.

LCG has been supplementing funds from the prior years, but that money is almost tapped out.

"Maybe you just cut the arts funding and all this funding in half for now," Bellard suggested.

Included in that group is Festival International. But organizers said what Festival gives back to Lafayette is worth the money,

The five day festival brings in a lot of money for Lafayette, about $22 million to be exact. And this year they received about $72,000 from LCG.

"We're really confident that our festival fans, the administration and overall the council sees the return on the investment that they make on an annual basis for Festival International and we're very hopeful that we'll continue that partnership with LCG here in our community," said President of the Festival International Board of Directors.

These cuts are only suggestions, the budget process starts this summer.



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