A brief article about appears in the Advertiser this morning covering the death of C. C. Hargis, the former utility director of LUS. Hargis led LUS during a period when many public electrical utilities were allowed to wither and eventually be sold to private providers. He didn’t allow that to happen the organization for which he was given responsibility.
LUS last year returned 17.2 million dollars to the city-parish treasury. It is an extremely successful company which keeps Lafayette’s money in Lafayette and sells electricty on the open market at a profit that benefits the local community. Old-timers, like Hargis, believe that Lafayette’s having control of its own electrical system, and its ability to retain that wealth locally over many years, was one reason Lafayette’s became the dominant city in the region.
Being willing to go their own way, to start, and to repeatedly decide to refurbish and rebuild a utility is one of the clearest indications of how the citizens of Lafayette have always made their own decisions and gone their own way.
That spirit of independence and willingness to strike out on their own path served the community well. Success builds on success. The planned fiber-optic network this site is so concerned with would not be a practical alternative had the local electrical utility not been healthy and well-supported by the community. Hargis supported LUS’ broadband plan and proponents of the project talked of his support with humor and respect.
One of the nicer things about living in a place like Lafayette that you can see the difference that single people who are determined to do the right thing can make. Hargis is one of those whose life yielded great benefits to his community; it is a testemant to the ways in which people can make a difference in the lives of their neighbors.
He earned the honored place in our history that he will occupy.