Lafourche Parish voters rejected by a 8-point margin a proposal to reroute a portion of the parish library system's property-tax revenue toward construction of a new detention center.
The measure failed by a 4,601-to-3,958 vote (54-46 percent), according to complete but unofficial results. After months of pointed debate, the library-jail tax swap brought 15.1 percent of the parish's registered voters to the polls.
Proposed was the rededication of 1 mill, estimated to bring in more than $800,000 in 2014, for 30 years. It would have been supplemented with $600,000 in parish funds annually to cover bond obligations to build a new jail.
Had it been approved, 2.8 of 5.8 mills collected by the library system would have also been extended for 30 years.
The parish council placed the measure on the ballot following a 5-3 vote. In favor were Councilmen Michael Delatte, Aaron Caillouet, Joe Fertitta, Phillip Gouaux and Lindel Toups. In opposition were John Arnold, Jerry LaFont and Daniel Lorraine.
Parish President Charlotte Randolph issued a statement Saturday night via email: "When the (Lafourche Parish Council) Legislative Internal Auditor Tommy Lasseigne proposed the Rededication of library funds last year to partially fund a new detention center, the Council concurred. The vote today indicated that the voters of Lafourche did not agree. As the public's safety is the most important issue for parish government, nothing will change as a result of today's vote. 24/7/365, we will continue to work with the LPSO, the DA and the courts to protect Lafourche."