Council approves revised budget, paves way for airport work

Published 8:25 am Sunday, November 11, 2012


The Daily News

The Bogalusa City Council approved a revised 2012 budget and authorized Mayor Charles Mizell to accept the donation of one piece of property and to purchase another, during its regular meeting Tuesday. After an executive session, it also authorized the mayor to “settle” the case of Anthony Johnson versus the city.

The Johnson case stems from a murder conviction in 1986, and City Attorney Dale Branch said he could not comment because it is still in litigation. Mizell was unavailable.

The budget revision was expected.

Administrator Jerry Bailey said revisions are common at the end of the year, when the early projections must be adjusted in keeping with what actually took place, as well as with the actual beginning fund balances that are not known until the mid-year receipt of the prior year’s audit.

“The bottom line is we are going to have to wait another year to, hopefully, solve our deficit problem,” he said.

The adjustments were forced by things like a 13.2 percent increase in health insurance costs, Bailey said.

The revised budget does reduce the cumulative deficit to “an estimated” $772,190. A $1 million deficit was projected for last year.

“In 2013 we’ll have a balanced budget,” Bailey said. “We intend to get rid of it next year.”

The property the council authorized Mizell to purchase is located at 1605 Van Buren St. and was appraised and “offered” for $11,500, according to the ordinance.

Councilwoman Oneita Graham said it was “the last little bit of property” needed for the George R. Carr Memorial Airport, and that the city was getting federal assistance for the project.

The council also introduced seven ordinances, which will have public hearings during the Dec. 4 meeting. The ordinances concern the 2013 budget, a contract that could enable a $370,000 Capital Outlay for sewer repairs, an adjudicated properties program, the city fence code, a Land and Water Conservation Fund state project agreement for improvements at Cassidy Park and two proposed agreements with Archon Information Systems, one for adjudicated property and online services and the other for delinquent property tax collection and online sale services.

The next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at City Hall.