St. Landry

Feb 29, 2012 11:20 PM by Maddie Garrett

Fixing Potholes by Fixing Budget Problems

St. Landry Parish Council was crunching the numbers Wednesday night, hoping to fix some budget problems for next year. One of the main issues was cutting the fat and getting more money into fixing parish roads.

"We tried in every way shape and form to increase the revenue in the road fund," said council member Timmy Lejeune.

Council members are trying to dig their way out of hole, a pot hole so to speak, and to fill it they need money.

"We started off at around $300 plus thousand, and right now we're looking at right over $800,000, so it's going to help us at least make it through the end of the year," explained Lejeune.

Several years ago, tax dollars from video poker were designated to road projects, as well as a transportation fund. The idea was to put about roughly $3 million dollars toward fixing the roads.

"But the funding didn't all go directly to asphalt, or gravel or limestone. We had to use some of it to increase our staff to be able to manage the roads," said Lejeune.

So to go from $300,000 to roughly $845,000 for road materials, the parish made some cuts in personnel, phone bills and travel. Parish President Bill Fontenot said while the increased funds doesn't fix all their problems, he said the parish is headed in the right direction.

"In no way will it build a highway program that we wish to see here in St. Landry Parish. But certainly we hope it makes some steps in building the trust of the people that we are we doing what we can with the monies we have to be as efficient as possible," said Fontenot.

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