AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council on Tuesday introduced and set for public hearing the proposed 2015 operating budget, which calls for spending $51 million.
The proposed budget, as submitted by Parish President Gordon Burgess, anticipates an increase in revenues during this year of about $3.2 million for the new fiscal year, which begins on Jan. 1. The budget anticipates that expenditures will also increase by a similar amount.
Burgess’s budget calls for spending about $12 million in the general fund category, an increase of about $2 million over the previous year, for items such things as the parish jail, building maintenance, offices of the Seventh Ward Marshall, district court, clerk of court, district attorney, parish coroner, and a variety of other agencies that rely on parish funds.
The proposed budget anticipates that about $12 million will also be spent on the maintenance of parish roads and bridges, an increase of $1 million from last year. A special fund supported by a road tax is the primary source of revenue used to overlay parish roads.
“We have seen an increase of sales tax revenues for 46 of the last 50 months and over 6.5 percent for the current year to date,” Burgess wrote in the preface to the budget proposal.
The parish president listed more than $9 million of improvements to roads and bridges this year, completion of the Community Center/Banquet Hall at the Florida Parishes Arena, completion of a synthetic closure cap at the Tangipahoa Parish Landfill; construction of the Planning, Permitting and Environmental services Facility in Hammond and renovations to the Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse in Amite.
Looking ahead to 2015, Burgess anticipates that $4 million will be spent on road overlays. His message also anticipates that subsurface drainage and widening will be accomplished on busy Club Deluxe Road between Morrison Boulevard and U.S. 51 on the south side of Hammond.
Hearings on the budget are scheduled Dec. 8 prior to the next council meeting.