St. Landry Parish Council

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The St. Landry Parish Government budget was discussed Wednesday at a meeting in the Old City Market in Opelousas. From left, are Amanda Cain, parish finance director, and Bill Fontenot, parish president. Another budget meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. Thursday. (Photos by Harlan Kirgan)

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St. Landry Parish Council Administrative-Finance Committee members, from left, Timmy Lejeune, Ken Marks and Wayne Ardoin, chairman, discuss the parish’s budget at a meeting Wednesday in the Old City Market in Opelousas. (Photos by Harlan Kirgan)

Will the parish be able to save $300,000 next year?

A year ago St. Landry Parish Government faced ending the year with a $670,000 deficit in its general fund.
Fast forward to the Nov. 1 Administrative-Finance Committee and Amanda Cain, finance director, declared she wants to save $300,000 in a contingency fund in 2018. And, she says she wants to do that for five years to tuck away $1.5 million.
Recently the Parish Council approved a $1.5 million line of credit with Washington State Bank to help bridge the gap between expenditures and revenues which land on the books after the first of the year.

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St. Landry Parish Council members and others discuss a hotel-motel occupancy tax at the Council’s meeting on Wednesday at the Old City Market in Opelousas. From left, are Chad Pitre, Council legal counsel, Buddy Helton, chairman of the Central St. Landry Economic Development District, Councilman Alvin Stelly, back to camera; James Moffett, attorney for the development district; Councilman Ken Marks; Councilman Timmy Lejeune; and Council Chairman Jerry Red. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

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List of St. Landry Parish roads approved for speed limit changes.

Speed limits on parish roads raised: Roads listed

Nearly 300 miles of newly paved roads lace St. Landry Parish, but the speed limits on those roads remain mostly in the 20 to 30 mph range.
The St. Landry Parish Council voted 10-1 to change the speed limit on 67 roads at its Wednesday meeting.
Parish President Bill Fontenot recommended the Council approve the new speed limits.
“We will have to take the recommendations from these professionals who do this kind of work,” he said.
District 11 Councilman Timmy Lejeune was the lone vote against the change.

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Agnes Courville of Opelousas addresses the St. Landry Parish Council about issues related to animal cruelty on Wednesday. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

Animal cruelty complaints aired

he case of Dr. Drip, a former champion racehorse discovered in horrible condition and euthanized on June 21, was brought to the St. Landry Parish Council.
Agnes Courville, of Opelousas, asked the Council to look at its ordinance dealing with animal abuse. Fines for abuse range from $25 to $100.
Bill Fontenot, parish president, said Parish Government is working with the sheriff and district attorney on the incident. State laws may be involved stiffer penalties, he said.
One person, Jermaine Dwayne Doucet Jr., 18, of Opelousas, was charged in the Dr. Drip case.

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Steven Moosa, CPA, of Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick, presented the 2016 audit to the Parish Council on Wednesday. (Photo by Harlan Krigan)

St. Landry Parish Government audit: Findings reduced, account balances in the black

St. Landry Parish Government’s account balances are overwhelmingly in the black and the number of problems found in the 2016 audit are down from the 2015 audit.
Steven Moosa, CPA, of Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick, presented the 2016 audit to the Parish Council on Wednesday.
Moosa noted that of nine accounts, all but one have beginning and ending balances on the positive side.

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District 11 St. Landry Parish Council member Timmy Lejeune makes a point about parish government’s lack of money to handle day-to-day road functions at Wednesday’s meeting of the Council’s Administrative-Finance Committee. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

Parish Council confronts its limitation

Despite a 2-cent tax funding a $66 million bond issue to pave more than 300 miles of roads, the St. Landry Parish Council confronted its monthly limitation to keep up maintenance and drainage on its other roads.
The tax passed in 2013 is collected in rural St. Landry Parish and is dedicated to paving roads and accompanying drainage.
But there are about 900 miles of roads in the parish. The annual bond payment is about $5.5 million and collections are running up to $6.5 million.

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