CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury is expected to adopt its 2018 budgets for eight different funds at its Dec. 19 meeting after jurors accepted proposed spending plans last week.
The proposed budgets are available for public review at the Police Jury office until the Dec. 19 meeting.
The general fund, which supports many police jury functions outside of road and bridge maintenance, is projected to have an operating surplus of about $47,000 at the end of next year, but several factors could erase that surplus, Parish Manager Sonya Crowe said.
Negotiations with parish Coroner Michael Cramer on how his office is funded are still underway, and the outcome of those talks could require additional general fund money being allocated to the coroner's fund, Crowe said.
The parish manager also said District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla has advised her that additional expenditures related to pending high-profile murder cases may be required in 2018.
A parish man, Ryan Sharpe, has been indicted on first-degree murder, second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder counts in connection with a series of slayings that had parish residents on edge for several weeks earlier this year. Sharpe also has been arrested in connection with the slaying of a man under similar circumstances in East Baton Rouge Parish.
In addition, a Zachary-area man, Taurus Ike Hamilton, is accused of three counts of first-degree murder in East Feliciana Parish in the Nov. 26 shooting deaths of three people, including his ex-girlfriend. Zachary police also said Hamilton is accused of second-degree murder in the slaying of a man that occurred shortly before the East Feliciana Parish killings.
The police jury is responsible for paying many of the expenses associated with operations of the district court, clerk of court and district attorney.
The general fund also will put up $150,000 for replacing the parish jail's roof. The jury is expected to award a bid for the project Dec. 19. The project also is supported by an insurance claim and a Federal Emergency Management Agency award related to the 2016 flood.
General fund revenues are projected at $2.2 million and expenses at $2.15 million, according to the budget documents.
The parish's road and bridge fund operates mainly on sales taxes, which the jury estimates will be $1.5 million next year, an amount less than is projected for 2017, according to Crowe's budget message. Additional revenue sources will push the total amount available to about $1.8 million.
Expenses are estimated at $1.59 million, which Crowe said may leave an operating surplus of about $204,000 that could be used for future road projects.