City budgets OKed Monday
In a brief council meeting before a nearly-empty chamber Monday afternoon, city officials adopted the amended budget for the fiscal year that ended at midnight, June 30 as well as the projected budget for FY 2019-20.
The budgets were adopted with three council members (Mike Fuselier, Juma Johnson and Edmond Joseph) absent and Mayor Melinda Mitchell providing the necessary quorum vote. Mayor protem Craig Prosper and Councilman Dennis Paul Williams cast the other two votes.
The 2018-19 consolidated budget projects an excess of $165,230 in revenues and other financing sources over expenditures and other uses on a total budget of $10,009,378.
But the 2019-20 budget is projecting a shortfall of just over $400,000.
The approval was made with the acknowledgement that the city’s year-end accounts are not yet fully reconciled.
Newly appointed Chief Administrative Officer Avis Gutekunst said that her initial project, putting city accounts in order, is proceeding at a reasonable pace. Working with accountants from the Baton Rouge consulting firm Faulk and Winkler, Gutekunst told the Teche News accounts have been reconciled through March. The books should be fully restored by the end of August, she said.
A budgeted 3 percent raise for all city employees was eliminated from the 2019-20 budget as approved, but will be revisited when a full understanding of the city’s financial position is developed.