Bayou Vermilion Commission

I.  Power

The Lafayette Parish Bayou Vermilion District is a political subdivision of the state of Louisiana created in 1984 by an act of the State Legislature. Its first purpose is to improve the water quality and beautify the Bayou Vermilion in the parish of Lafayette “in an effort to promote the bayou as a recreational and cultural asset.” The second purpose is “creating and controlling a new type of viable economic development adjacent to Bayou Vermilion so as to provide a diversified economic base for the city and parish of Lafayette.” The broadest purpose  is “doing any and all acts which would enhance the general condition of Bayou Vermilion.”  RS33:9202


The Bayou Vermilion District is divided into three bodies:
  • Bayou Vermilion District Administration, 340 Fisher Road
  • Bayou Operations, 350 Fisher Road,
  • Vermilionville, 300 Fisher Road.

The Bayou Vermilion District is governed by a nine (9) member commission, appointed by the Lafayette Consolidated Government Council, the Council President and the area mayors.  An appointee must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the district during his term of office. Each member serves a 4-year term, and is limited to a maximum of two (2) terms. They serve without compensation and their terms are staggered.

Appointment to the commission:

2 members by Chief Executive Officers of the incorporated municipalities of Lafayette Parish, other than the City of Lafayette

1 member by Chief Executive Officer of City of Lafayette

1 member by Chief of Executive Officer of Lafayette Parish

3 members, 1 African-American,  by the Governing Authority of the City of Lafayette

2 members, Governing Authority of Lafayette Parish

(Total 4 by the City-Parish President and 5 by the City-Parish Counci)

The Bayou Vermilion District Commission conforms to the Louisiana Open meetings laws. The Board meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Vermilionville at 4:30 p.m.  All meetings are open to the public.  The agenda and notice of the meetings are posted on the website, on the premises, and in the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.  Filming and recording are allowed, subject to the LA Open Meeting Law., R.S. 42:8

The Bayou Vermilion District  Commission maintains lease and intergovernmental agreements with the City of Lafayette, the Parish of Lafayette, and the Lafayette Airport Commission for the use of various properties in Beaver Park on which Vermilionville was built.  It has an intergovernmental agreement with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for a public boat launch between Louisiana Avenue and Calais Road.

II.  Services:

The Board of Commissioners works with a professional staff.  Approximately fifty people serve as full and part-time employees to provide  these services for the long-run protection of the Bayou Vermilion :

  • Projects utilizing the resources of existing groups to address watershed and quality of life issues in Lafayette Parish
  • Removal of trash and debris from the Bayou
  • Water sampling with cooperation of Lafayette Utility System to test for purity
  • Encouraging environmentally healthy practices and the maintenance of the cleanliness of the Bayou
  • Maintaining , opening, and closing five (5) parks in Lafayette Parish which offer access to the Bayou Vermilion: Rotary Point, Beaver Park, North Landing, Southside Park, and Vermilionville
  • Promoting watershed protection and the folk history and crafts of the Acadian/Creole culture through classes, seminars, workshops, summer camps, day trips, canoe paddles, and boat tours

III.  Funding

As a political subdivision of the state of Louisiana, the Board of Commissioners draws up its budget, submits it for public approval, makes any necessary adjustments, and approves the final proposal.  Any changes must be within the revenue and resources established by a majority of the Board. 

There are two primary sources of funding for the Bayou Vermilion District, as a whole, including Vermilionville. The current property millage was established in 2006 and must be renewed every 10 years.

  Parish property tax    54%
  User fees from Vermilionville  42%

The remaining 4% results from state revenue sharing and state grants, for the total of 100%.

Expenditures are as follows:

   District Administration  l6%
   District Curation  3%
   District Marketing and Public Relations  5%
   District Facilities Maintenance  12%
   Bayou Administration   3%
   Bayou Clean Up & Recreation  10%
   Bayou Education & Recreation   2%
   Vermilionville Programming & Museum Operations  13%
   Vermilionville  Food and Beverage Operations  27%
   Vermilionville Gift Shop  6%
   Vermilionville General Administration   3%
     Total: 100%


Vermilionville Living History Foundation Board
Acadiana Arts Council
Louisiana Arts Council
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve provides a tour guide for the boat trips.



David Cheramie, Chief Executive Officer, Bayou Vermilion District, updated July, 2015.

Updated July 2015