ST. MARTINVILLE – The recession is making itself felt in St. Martin Parish but local government is ready for it, Parish President Guy Cormier said in his annual budget message Tuesday nightk.
Cormier said he expects sales tax revenue to level out and new building permits to decrease, but that Parish Government has been a good steward of taxpayers’ money and that services will not suffer.
“You can expect us to ... search for innovative, less expensive methods to provide services to the constituency of this great parish,” Cormier told the Parish Council in his budget message.
Cormier’s budget projects a decrease of $2.1 million in the fund balance totals of the operations and maintenance funds, propelled mostly by the expenditure of nearly $3 million from the beginning balance in the courthouse renovations fund.
The total beginning fund balance for the general fund and the 31 other funds classified as operations and maintenance is $18,892,539.50 and the projected balance at the Dec. 31, 2010, end of the parish’s fiscal year is $16,750,850.52.
Projected revenues total $19,813,469.46 and projected expenditures $19,122,338.78 – ending $691,131.68 in the black for those funds including fire protection, sales taxes, road maintenance, animal control, video poker, mosquito control, courts, etc.
In the separate capital outlay budget, which includes the courthouse renovation, new Council on Aging building, I-10 frontage development and various other projects, revenues and expenditures are projected at $21,942,819 each.
Cormier noted the extraordinary amount of public infrastructure development that has gone on in the parish during 2009:
•Courthouse annex and renovations at a cost of over $7 million in state and local money.
•Council on Aging and auxiliary courthouse building under construction in Breaux Bridge, $1.1 million.
•Continued road improvements.
•Commercial Park East, a new business park along I-10 in Breaux Bridge, soon to include the reconstruction of the eastern portion of Latiolais Road with $450,000 of state money.
•Parks in Lower St. Martin, renovation of the old Cade Recreation Center, and start of construction of a floating dock at the Bayou Benoit landing.
•A new fire station in Cade.
•Parish Council President Mike Huval, expressing the council’s appreciation of the accomplishments of the Cormier administration, said a lot of larger and richer parishes would like to be in St. Martin’s financial condition.
“It’s amazing we can have all these buildings constructed and all the road work that we have had in this parish,” Huval said.
Cormier thanked the members of the council for their cooperation and the parish’s legislative delegation, Sen. Troy Hebert and Rep. Fred Mills Jr., for their help in securing state funding over the past year.
Go by the Parish Government building at 301 W. Port St. in St. Martinville for a line-by-line review of the 2010 budget.