PJ to adopt 2011 budget Thursday night

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Police Jury is set to adopt its 2011 Budget at the meeting Thursday at 5:30 at the parish government building.

It's ten per cent less than this year, but Police jurors have been presented with a balanced budget for 2011. They've made cuts they hope the public won't feel.

It's a $161 million spending plan that is $18 million less than this year's budget. They did that,  in part,  due to projected decreases in revenue such as sales tax. Explains Calcasieu Administrator Bryan Beam, "A good chunk of that is capital spending which is still a large investment. A lot of the overall decrease comes from that spending budget which is part of the whole. In addition the operations budget is down by about four per cent."

Beam says they told departments to cut where they could. "We've gotten more productive with what we have. We've had to look harder at operations and how we can do more with the resources we have."

Beam says they've done their best to cut without reducing services to the public. In fact he says the budget still includes various improvements planned. "In the area of drainage, in the neighborhood of $6 million worth of drainage projects spread all across the parish for long term needed drainage issues."

For the first time in memory parish employees won't be getting a cost of living pay raise.  But if the economy improves later in the year, they may upgrade the pay scale. "We do have in the works a pay study planned that we've been working on that reflects whether or not we're competing well with jobs of that nature in other places."

Also to save money not all employees who leave are being replaced. The budget will be presented at tomorrow night's regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Calcasieu Government Building.

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