Ask The Mayor: Lafayette's Tony Roswarski On Paying For The State's Worker Shortage

Jun 13, 2019

The mayor says a tight construction labor market is costing cities additional money for projects.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It’s not often that cities turn down all the bids they receive for a project, but that’s just what Lafayette’s Board of Works did this week on a road paving and sidewalk improvement job.

And to hear Mayor Tony Roswarski tell it, this story might be more common in the coming years, because it’s a seller’s market in the construction trades. A lack of qualified workers means companies don’t have the manpower to do all the available jobs at once, and they can pick and choose only the most lucrative projects – and charge more for the work than they used to.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we quiz Mayor Roswarski about what this means for the future of projects in his city – some of which have been promised for a while. Does the city eat the higher cost now, rather than letting it rise with inflation, or does it jeopardize the promises it made to residents who are counting on getting new infrastructure?