The Plaquemine Board of Aldermen approved numerous changes to its actual 2017 budget and approved a budget for 2019 proposed by Mayor Ed Reeves Jr.
“It was an extremely productive meeting,” Reeves said. “I’m very proud of my council. They’re 100 percent behind me now.”
The vote was 4-0-1 on the changes and the 2019 budget. Alderman Timmy Martinez was absent.
In four line items, the city added $50,000 in revenue, general property taxes, cable and TV franchise taxes, occupational licenses and building permits. “In those categories, our revenue came in better than we expected,” Reeves said.
In intergovernmental categories, video poker proceeds were higher than predicted as well but the city received $2,000 less from its fire insurance rebate than it had budgeted for and the city provided a $1,500 grant to City Court for office renovations.
Receipts from the Police Department were up by $2,000 while grass-cutting expenses were overestimated for the current year’s budget, meaning the city had an additional $4,000 from that fund.
The city also had to adjust upward its expected donations for the mayor’s breakfast and the city’s Fourth of July festivities, adding $15,000 to the 2017 budget amendments. Insurance for the city’s firetrucks was lower than the Board of Aldermen had budgeted, so $11,700 was added to that line item.
Through its operating expenses, the city earned $12,000 more than anticipated and had to be added to the budget. “Due to the extremely cold weather we had, the gas rates were up,” Reeves said.
Additional expenses the city had to amend its current budget for $187,000, but it was offset in part by a $35,000 decrease in its group health insurance due to employee turnover and $9,000 it budgeted for contract employee costs created by Iberville Parks and Recreation not having workers at the city’s spray park.
Revenue changes made to the amended budget were due to adjust for increases in property taxes and interest on sales tax revenues and by two big budget items being pushed into next year’s budget, both in the city’s capital improvements.
The two projects moved to next year were a $135,000 the city had planned to use this year for levee top walkways and $450,000 in sidewalk improvements planned for this year but now delayed until 2019.