Berwick town budget approved

BERWICK, La. — Town leaders approved a $4.17 million town budget Tuesday night.

Total revenues for fiscal year 2013-14 are anticipated to be $5.2 million for the year, down from $5.77 million the previous year. The bulk of that money comes from taxes and franchise fees, set to total $2.67 million. Meanwhile, intergovernmental revenues double from $243,412 to $508,600 in the new budget.

The intergovernmental revenues come from federal and state grant funding and other similar intergovernmental agreements, Mayor Louis Ratcliff said this morning.

On the expenditure side, the largest expenditures are in general government, $965,579; streets, $421,492; and recreation, $316,541. Expenditures for the Berwick Development District dropped from $873,311 in the previous fiscal year to $25,000 this year due to the completion of phase 5 of Renwick Subdivision.

In the capital outlay section, spending on streets is set to increase from $127,868 to $209,365, while recreation increases from $140,461 to $379,800 between the previous and current budgets.

Total capital outlay spending increases from $333,845 to $856,291, while total expenditures drop slightly more than $100,000, from $5.18 million to $5.02 million.

The 2013-14 budget anticipates an excess of revenue over expenditure of $293,541, adding to the town’s $4.3 million reserve fund balance.

After public hearings that received no comment, the council also passed two more resolutions. One amends the 2012-13 to actual spending. Those changes include a general fund increase, due to Renwick lot sales, of $600,000; an increase in transfers to the general fund because of sales taxes by $100,000; increase in the bond sinking fund by $450,000; and increase in three-quarter percent sales tax revenue by $100,000, among other changes.

The third ordinance approved Tuesday includes the addition of attorney fees when a resident is brought to court by the town. Such fees would be over and above any fines imposed on the resident.

In other action, the council:

—Learned drainage work has been completed near Jones Street. The next section to be improved is at the town’s western boundary, according to Rafael Lopez, town public works supervisor.

—Approved a permit for the Berwick High School homecoming parade Sept. 26.

—Approved the same holiday schedule the town has allowed its employees in previous years.

—Denied a demonstration application from Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment because the area they requested, west of Thorguson Drive, is a state right of way. The town has no authority to grant permits to hold a demonstration there, Ratcliff said.

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