June 15, 2023 |
St. Landry President Jessie Bellard announced this morning that after a review of the 2023 Proposed Budget, he made adjustments to satisfy the Parish Council’s request to reduce expenditures by ten percent.
In an ordinance Wednesday night at the monthly parish council meeting, members voted to reduce the 2023 general fund budget by ten percent.
Bellard signed the ordinance Thursday after reviewing the general fund budget and finding areas he could cut.
“I spent the day reviewing the budget with a fine-toothed comb and found in a couple of areas we could cut without cutting employees,” said Bellard. “I’m not going to cut 10 percent of anything that will affect the services we provide to the parish.”
Bellard said he could reduce spending now because of expected expenditures that would not materialize until the 2024 fiscal year.
“Once we learned that certain grants and appropriations would not be received until the next fiscal year, we knew we could remove the expenditures tied to those funds and add them to the 24 budget,” said Bellard.
He added that grants and appropriation for debris removal and generator projects would not be received this year but was budgeted for 2023 because the parish government was expecting to receive the funds and start those projects this year.
“We’ve now learned that those funds would be coming later, so it made sense for us to remove them from the budget and protect our employees and services we offer from any cuts,” said Bellard.
He added that services to the parish would never be cut or reduced as long as the funding sources for them were available. Bellard said the parish is always exploring grants and state and federal appropriations available to supplement parish funds and improve St. Landry’s ability to serve its citizens.