Elton mayor says audit misleading - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Elton mayor says audit misleading

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The Town of Elton has what some might consider an unfavorable audit-- since it shows the water, sewer and sanitation services operating at a loss.

The mayor says city finances are actually better and looking up for the future.

"The operating losses were $87, 790 but after we put our sewer grant in there our profit was $65,000," said Hollingsworth.

Mayor Cathy Hollingsworth says though water and sewer services operated at a loss they are actually in the black.

Hollingsworth says ongoing sewer repairs are the main reason they show a loss.
Our plants are old and paddle wheels have gone down and those are tremendously expensive so we're having those repaired.

Plus she says the loss is less than last year and adds they have adequate reserves to cover it.
Our finances are great at this point.  

The audit report suggests the town consider increasing utility rates to offset the loss but Hollingsworth says it's not needed and would make it harder for 500 plus households in Elton she says now pay about 31 dollars a month.

"I would hope I wouldn't have to .  That would be one of the last resorts,"said Hollingsworth.

 In fact the town is doing so well financially, Hollingsworth says the town employees are getting a pay raise for the first time in a long time.

"Our employees are going to get a 5% raise starting on their next check," said Hollingsworth.
 
That comes to around $60 a month since most employees are paid scarcely above than minimum wage. Another adverse audit finding-- some city employees were delinquent on their utility bills even though town policy is to disconnect past due accounts.

But Hollingsworth says they're monitoring employees and that past due accounts are almost paid up.

"Now we only have one and that one should be paid out by the end of this month," said Hollingsworth.

She says the employee still owes the town  about $80.  The mayor says elected officials will not get the five per cent pay raise.  

To read the audit click here.

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