No, it’s not a play-on-words. The Parish’s annual budget is broken out by Funds. Each Fund is assigned a number. Ironically enough, the Parish’s General Fund, which is it’s “fail-safe” fund, is assigned Number 001. I hate to admit it, but I got a good chuckle out of that.
Parish residents may once again have an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is in November should the Parish Council vote to put the election of four (4) independent road districts on the ballot. In recognition of the need for better understanding of the Parish’s budget, I offer the following crash course on the Parish’s Highway Fund:
By definition, a budget is an estimate of income and expenditures for a set period of time. That being said, it may be necessary to adjust a budget for reasons such as an unanticipated increase or decrease in funding or an unforeseen increase in expenditures due to catastrophic weather events.
The Parish Department of Public Works is funded each year by revenues from the Road District 40 ad valorem tax, transfers from the Solid Waste Sales Tax Fund, the Kisatchie National Forest payment in lieu of taxes, road royalty payments from the State, and Special Fuel Tax refund payments from the State. There may also be revenues in the Highway Fund from FEMA reimbursements, which would be considered an irregular source of revenue. FEMA revenues should not be given weight when arguing for or against additional tax. In order to receive FEMA reimbursements, the Parish must incur damages from a federally declared disaster. FEMA reimbursements are calculated on only 75% of the expenditures incurred by the Parish. The Parish is responsible for the remaining 25% of storm damage costs.
Each year, a line item budget is prepared for the operations of the Department of Public Works. The budget for Highway Fund 101 is generally broken into line items for salaries and related employee benefits, training, offices expenses, road equipment rental and maintenance expenses, road maintenance materials (rock, asphalt, etc.), and funding for capital outlay and special projects.
It is imperative that the Parish Council pass the Ordinances that create the new independent road districts and place the districts on the ballot in November for Parish residents’ consideration. If you would like more information or would like to host an informational meeting, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Ms. Sheryl Frederick, the Parish Council Clerk, at (318) 352-2714 or by email at email@example.com.