Once the meeting was called to order, the minutes from the last meeting held on May 28, 2015 were approved and adopted. Roger Williams outlined the content and framework of a Final Report. Donna Isaacs gave a detailed report of their findings. (ATTACHED)
The Advisory Commission is recommending outright ownership of the Equipment used by the Natchitoches Parish Highway Department. A copy of the worksheet used by the Advisory Commission is attached below.
Roger Williams and Alan McMurtry offered scenarios for Road Fund financing
(see Attached for complete report):
A. Do nothing – not a real option.
B. Restructure Financing, Grant Funding of Equipment and finding an additional 1.34 million per year to build to capacity. Investment: $4.246 million per year.
C. A major capital improvement with a New Bond Issue. Parish would issue $80 million in municipal bonds for a comprehensive upgrade of infrastructure and ongoing maintenance. (Detail Attached page 11)
It is the Advisory Commission’s finding that the additional revenue is required to properly construct and maintain the 818 miles of roads in Natchitoches Parish. No amount of economies or efficiency improvements or management decisions can appreciably improve the road situation absent additional revenues.
The Advisory Commission found NO sources of funds within the Parish budget that could be reapportioned to Road District #40. If bond financing is utilized, the funds will be deposited with an independent trustee and disbursed pursuant to the trust documents.
The amount of funds required for either Scenario 2 of Scenario 3 above is $4,300,000.00 per year. The current highway budget sources provide $2,900,000.00, leaving a shortfall of $1,400,000.00.
Potential new Revenue Sources Considered:
1. Ad-Valorem Tax
2. Sales Tax
3, Fuel Tax
4. Wheel Tax
Each of the potential new revenue sources were found to have advantages and disadvantages.
After due consideration, the Advisory Commission recommends an increase of 10 mills, Parish-wide, be submitted to the voters at the next available election. The commission believes that sufficient new revenues will be gained to fund the required $1,400,000.00 shortfall.
A review of the elections called in Natchitoches Parish over the past 30 years indicate that Road District #40 millage has remained the same while other functions of government have been more adequately funded.