City of LC projects $3.6 million shortfall for next fiscal year - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

City of LC projects $3.6 million shortfall for next fiscal year

Image Courtesy: University of Florida Image Courtesy: University of Florida

Lake Charles city officials are struggling how to grapple with budget woes.  Last year's budget ran a deficit of $2.56 million.  The current fiscal year is projected to have a $2.4 million deficit and the proposed budget for the 2011-1012 fiscal year foresees a $3.6 million shortfall.

But it's not like the city isn't paying its bills because they have an operating reserve they have been able to dip into to cover expenses. Problem is the mayor and administrator say if they keep using their savings they'll no longer have a fund for emergencies.

City officials say they need to increase revenue so they don't have to use emergency dollars each year to balance the budget. Said Mayor Randy Roach, "We know that unless we get to a point where we're putting money back in the bank, one day we're going to have to deal with that situation."

One possibility is to charge a fee for garbage and trash pickup-- something that would be new to Lake Charles residents. "We have been providing trash and garbage collection without charging for that. So, we're looking at that as a possible way. It's a service. We do provide it. It's common for communities to charge extra for that."

As well, property values are likely to go up as a result of reassessment next year-- which could bring in extra dollars for the city if they maintain the current property tax rate. "If we just maintain our property tax rate at the same rate it is today, we anticipate that we could probably experience a five to six hundred thousand dollar increase in property tax revenue."

Officials say there are several reasons for the shortfall-- increasing costs for retirement, insurance gasoline. "And when you total the increases in the last three or four years in retirement contributions and health insurance costs, that pretty much covers what we're talking about in terms of the annual deficits that we've been experiencing."

And though city sales taxes are growing they're not yet up to what they were in 2008 when the bottom fell out.  And city officials say they have made cuts. Explained, Administrator John Cardone. "We eliminated thirty budgeted, unfilled positions. We've also been monitoring vacant positions. We've limited travel. We've limited purchases of vehicles and equipment or deferred those purchases so, even doing all that we still are projecting a $2.4 million dollar deficit."

And course that's this current year. The budget for the upcoming fiscal year which starts October 1 projects a $3.6 million deficit.

City officials point out they collect a quarter per cent less sales tax than other local governments and say if they had that extra quarter there would be no deficit.

The city will hold a public hearing August 30th at the Lake Charles City Council agenda meeting to discuss the proposed budget. 

Copyright 2011 KPLC.All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • K-9 police procession to crematory held on Wednesday

    K-9 police procession to crematory held on Wednesday

    Thursday, March 30 2017 4:34 AM EDT2017-03-30 08:34:30 GMT
    (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

    Roscoe, the Crowley police K-9 officer who was shot and killed during an overnight shooting last week, was honored on Wednesday in a special procession.

    More >>

    Roscoe, the Crowley police K-9 officer who was shot and killed during an overnight shooting last week, was honored on Wednesday in a special procession.

    His handler officer, Tate Thibodeaux, was hospitalized in the shooting.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Rain has moved out with sunny, less humid weather for the next couple days.

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Rain has moved out with sunny, less humid weather for the next couple days.

    Thursday, March 30 2017 4:20 AM EDT2017-03-30 08:20:44 GMT
    Sunny skies this afternoonSunny skies this afternoon

    Today will start out with mostly cloudy skies. The rain has moved out and skies will be clearing throughout the morning and by the afternoon, we should have sunny skies. We could see quick line of some light showers come through around sunrise, but will quickly move out and sunny skies will quickly follow behind. It will be less humid today as well! Highs will be in the upper 70s. Friday will be another beautiful day with sunny skies and lower humidity! 

    More >>

    Today will start out with mostly cloudy skies. The rain has moved out and skies will be clearing throughout the morning and by the afternoon, we should have sunny skies. We could see quick line of some light showers come through around sunrise, but will quickly move out and sunny skies will quickly follow behind. It will be less humid today as well! Highs will be in the upper 70s. Friday will be another beautiful day with sunny skies and lower humidity! 

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    TRAFFIC: Roads, streets flooded throughout Southwest Louisiana

    TRAFFIC: Roads, streets flooded throughout Southwest Louisiana

    Thursday, March 30 2017 3:14 AM EDT2017-03-30 07:14:14 GMT
    Westlake (Google Maps)Westlake (Google Maps)

    Several streets are flooded in Westlake. Police Chief Chris Wilrye said some roads are impassable. There are reports of stalled vehicles and police say barricades are being set up. Here is a list of flooded streets: Parts of Samson Street McKinley Street Mulberry Street Krause Street Wehrt Street Miller Avenue Jones Street Garden Street West side of Guillory Street Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    Several streets are flooded in Westlake. Police Chief Chris Wilrye said some roads are impassable. There are reports of stalled vehicles and police say barricades are being set up. Here is a list of flooded streets: Parts of Samson Street McKinley Street Mulberry Street Krause Street Wehrt Street Miller Avenue Jones Street Garden Street West side of Guillory Street Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly