A budget presented Monday to the Louisiana City Council Finance Committee restores the punishing five percent cuts across departments presented to the City Council a week before.
Instead, cuts in a few departments — including police, streets, and the public library — and a $20,000 increase in the revenue brought in by the police in fines, fees, and traffic citations are slated to make up the difference.
The finance committee voted at its monthly meeting to advance the budget, drafted by City Administrator Kelly Henderson, to the full council for consideration at its next meeting.
Henderson presented the City Council with a budget at their meeting on April 1 with a warning that some of the cuts it contained would leave the relevant departments barely functional. The Council dispatched him at the end of the meeting with a mission to restore the items he thought were indispensable.
The increase in revenues for fines, fees, and traffic citations brought those line items from $55,000 in the first version of next year’s budget to around $75,000.
In an interview after the committee meeting, Henderson said he believed the increase would require diligent, but not extreme or unreasonable, enforcement measures. He pointed out that the department raised much more in recent memory, including about twice as much in the 2016-2017 budget year.
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