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Metro council won't approve proposal to redirect money from libraries to drainage

2 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, July 28 2021 Jul 28, 2021 July 28, 2021 6:47 PM July 28, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A proposal to reallocate parish money from some departments toward fixing drainage shortfalls was shot down Wednesday.

After the major flood in May, Metro Councilmember Dwight Hudson proposed the item to create more funding for drainage improvements by re-routing tax dollars from other departments, namely the libraries. Which would cut their yearly budget by 10%. The rest would have been redirected from mosquito abatement and rodent control.

There were many in attendance opposing the item speaking about the importance of it to the community and the fact the citizens voted for those funds to be dedicated to the library in 2015.

"When the voters speak the voters have spoken," said Representative Denise Marcelle.
"Our library system never failed to feed our children, to gather our preschoolers, to nurture our homeless," said one citizen.

"Whatever issues happed in drainage they did not happen overnight so it's going to take time and you can't just start taking money from everywhere to solves that issue," said Metro councilmember Chauna Banks.

Hudson making it clear though the library budget would be cut by 10 percent it would still be a world-class system.

"Right now we fund our library system at $110 per capita. The national average for library funding is $44 per capita, even under the one mil we still fund our library at $104 per capita," said Hudson.

After public comment, discussion and changes to the agenda item, that proposal fell short at Wednesday's Metro Council meeting, 4-7.

The move could have sent an extra $5 million to the drainage department each year, and the tax would extend into 2031. 

You can read our original report on the proposal here.

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