Monroe, La(KTVE/KARD) — Talks about tax dollars for the Southside Economic Development District led to a heated during a regular Monroe City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

Monroe council members were set to discuss tax increment financing for the Southside Economic Development District (SEDD).

This type of funding allows local governments to invest in public infrastructure and improvements up-front.

“Before the mayor stepped up on the podium, he and I had a little sidebar, and he agreed to work with us further, for further discussions,” said president of Southside Economic Development District, Charles Theus. “He didn’t guarantee anything, but I’m encouraged that the mayor was upbeat and gave us hope.”

Prior to the pandemic, Mayor Friday Ellis and SEDD made an agreement on the budget .

Now that the pandemic has eased, the mayor says the budget, that was originally discussed, needs to be reconsidered because of rising costs.

“So my goal is to be able to work with my council members to do what it takes to move projects, and I’ll continue to do that, but in the end we have to be responsible in budgeting our dollars with projects here,” said Ellis. “I’ve been able to continue to work with the council to move those projects.”

State leaders were on hand at the regular council meeting to support the SEDD and ask the mayor and city councils to honor the original budget.

“That’s 2 years of very little development because SEDD can’t move forward without funding,” said Louisiana State Senator, Katrina Jackson.

City officials agree to meet next week to discuss the future of SEDD’s proposal to the city of Monroe.