City Holds Town Hall Meeting Regarding 2021-2022 Budget

The City of Natchitoches held a Town Hall Meeting on May 4. Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. and Finance Director Debbie Miley presented a 2021-2022 budget to citizens and answered questions. City Department Heads were also present to discuss budgetary questions relating to their departments. Mayor Williams also discussed the City’s plans for utilization of funds allocated to the City of Natchitoches through the American Rescue Plan from the federal government totaling $3.2 million.

The City Budget (June 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022) has a total operating budget of $69.7 million with $18.5 million in the General Fund, $36 million in the Proprietary Fund/Utility, and $15 million in Special Funds.

The proposed budget for 2021-2022 is at 8% less than 2020-2021 fiscal year. Several factors contribute to this such as Covid 19 and less ongoing large projects.

Allowable Use of American Rescue Plan:

To respond to the pandemic or its negative economic impacts including assistance to households, small businesses, and non profits or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality

For premium pay to eligible workers performing essential work jobs determined by each recipient government during the pandemic providing up to $13 per hour above regular wages

For provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to pandemic (relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency)

The language explicitly prohibits funds from being deposited into a pension fund

States and territories are also prohibited from using the funds to offset, either directly or indirectly, a tax cut made since March 3, 2021

More guidance will be forthcoming from Federal Government

American Rescue Plan 2021 Tentative Plan for Allocation of Funds (project list pending upon council approval once funds are allocated):

Engineering-Water Plant #4 – $1 million

Re-design City Pool House – $350,000

Funds for grant matches – $300,000

MLK Fire Station Improvements or New Station at the “Y” – $300,000*

New Location Public Works 9first payment) – $250,000

Cost-Share with Auto Mall (being developed at I-49) – $200,000

Law Enforcement Needs/Equipment – $185,000

CommCare Cost-Share – $185,000

Business Retention and Facade Grant for Texas and Washington Street Corridors (other proximal areas) – $104,000

Business Retention and Facade Grant for South Drive and Keyser Avenue Corridors (other proximal areas) – $104,000

City master Plan – $100,000

Housing grants for facade improvements for low income residents – $100,000

Economic Development Plan by Garner Economics – $50,000

Engage Urban Land Institute for Land Use Possibilities for City Owned Ben D Johnson Ball Park $5,000 – $10,000

*denotes search for grant to offset costs

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12 thoughts on “City Holds Town Hall Meeting Regarding 2021-2022 Budget

  1. Did I miss something? I don’t see anything for rural areas. So city gets all money for city from feds, and most all the money from local taxes.

  2. Come on city fathers…. don’t you think you need to rethink your priorities. What about streets in east Natchitoches. Why is it the west side of town seems to be getting everything. Remember we pay TAXES too. Get a grip!!!!!

  3. So my tax money is going for “facade improvements” on private property? How is this not illegal?

  4. Let me guess, every employee will be determined to be essential for purposes of the increase in pay.

  5. So let me see if I understand this correctly….we are going to spend 350,000.00 on the city pool building that only gets used a few months out of the year…but 300,000 with the hopes of grants to cover part of the cost to remodel or build a new fire station were mean are living a 3rd of their life. Men that risk their lives to save people in our community, men that risk their lives to save our town, men that suffice time with there families to provided NEED services for our town and community? Am I missing something here? Shouldn’t we put our first responders before a pool house?

    • 350.000 for the pool house 185,000 for law enforcement? Really? Who figures these things out? Unreal

    • What makes this doubly bad is that the kids who use that pool house have no respect for property. Now saying all kids, because some have been taught manners and respect for property, others have not. It is a shame that so many facilities are in terrible condition because of lack of respect. Oh yes, I know the pool house is old, but do we have a fair bid on what should be done, or an unfair bid on what will be overdone.

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