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2015 Bogalusa budget introduced

The Bogalusa City Council introduced a pair of ordinances, including the 2015 budget, during Tuesday’s meeting.

The 2015 budget projects a 2 percent growth in the General Fund for ad valorem taxes to $2,203,980. Sales taxes are projected 2 percent higher to $3,315,000.

Regarding salaries for personnel, the proposed budget calls for a 9.4 percent cut. Salaries went from $83,310 to the projected $75,510. Pay for the Police Department had a slight increase of 1.7 percent to $1,216,930 from the last adopted budget’s $1,196,880.

The Fire Department is projected to have a 6.1 percent decrease in salaries from $1,062,630 to the proposed $997,440.

Public Works salaries for employees also falls from $746,900 to a projected $727,820, a 2.4 percent cut.

The other ordinance, authorizing Mayor Charles Mizell to enter into a lease with Susan Stewart so she can operate the Deli in the Park at Cassidy Park, was also introduced.

Both ordinances will have public discussion, followed by a Council vote at the Dec. 2 City Council meeting.

During the public participation segment, Mary Distefano asked Council members what she can do about a teenager riding a motorcycle without a helmet, tag or lights near her Union Avenue residence and damaging a ditch. She was advised to contact the police department and make a report.

“I keep it mowed and weeded and everything, and there is water standing in it right now,” Distefano said. “I’ve been there since 1963.”

Also, Joel Miller asked about an oak tree that needs trimming at 532 Austin Street.

“We’ve been trying to get it trimmed for 10 years,” Miller said. “It’s hanging down to the highway.”

Wendy Perrette, who presided over the meeting in place of absent President Doug Ritchie, said a work order will be written for the problem. Perrette will be Bogalusa’s next mayor after Mizell withdrew from the Dec. 6 runoff with Perrette.

In his administrative remarks, Mizell was conciliatory.

“Congratulations to the next mayor on her becoming the first female leader in Bogalusa,” Mizell said. “I think she’ll move the city forward and face challenges like a champ.”

Council members reminded citizens of the annual Street Stroll downtown on Nov. 29 and 30.

Also, the Christmas Parade is scheduled for Nov. 27 starting at 5 p.m.