Golf course commission adopts ‘optimistic’ budget

The Atchafalaya Golf Course Commission adopted Monday what Henry “Bo” LaGrange, St. Mary Parish chief administrative officer, called “an optimistic budget.”
The 2014-15 budget, to be presented at the St. Mary Parish Council’s Aug. 27 meeting, anticipates income of $1.39 million and expenses of $1.26 million. It reflects a net income of $1,476 after operating expenses are removed.
“You can’t adopt a budget with a deficit. You’ve got to adopt a budget and you’ve got to project it the best you can. I’d say it’s a legitimate budget. You may want to call it an optimistic budget,” LaGrange said Monday.
Not reflected in the budget is the annual grant received from the St. Mary Parish Council, which totaled $250,000 in the 2013 budget, according to the audit performed on the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013.
LaGrange said the lack of reflection is due to fiscal year differences.
“Their budget starts Oct. 1. Ours starts Jan. 1 … the council has to adopt the budget,” he said.
According to the 2012-13 budget presented during Monday’s meeting, the commission projected $3,609 net income, but ended the year with a $239,100 loss. The 2013-14 budget predicts a $4,322 gain at year end on Sept. 30, and figures presented at the meeting point to a shortfall of $126,747.
The 2014-15 budget predicts a net income of $1,476.
The largest variances in each of these years came in the golf fund, which includes green fees, cart fees, range balls and golf club rentals, among other items.
In the 2012-13 budget, total income from the line items was predicted to be $796,850, but the actual collections were $639,576 — a $157,274 budget shortfall.
The 2013-14 budget predicted income of $756,850, but the projected collections are $637,663, which is $119,187 lower than the budget.
In the 2014-15 budget, the golf course is predicted to bring in $731,850 on this line item.
Similarly, the golf pro shop failed to hit revenue projections. The pro shop was budgeted to make $186,600 in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, the pro shop revenues were $154,921 and now is projected to earn $165,709 this year.
Golf pro shop revenues after expenses were $52,904 in 2013. By Sept. 30, the shop’s net revenue is projected at $53,925.
“We don’t budget on the current reality. We budget on what we project we’re going to do next year,” LaGrange said.

By JEAN L. McCORKLE jmccorkle@daily-review.com

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