The St. James Parish Council introduced on Wednesday the parish’s proposed $61.6 million budget for fiscal year 2015 as the industrial construction boom continues to sweep through the parish.
Expenditures are expected to reach $61.6 with operating expenditures $10.9 million more than last year due to several major capital projects, including two wetlands assimilation projects on each side of the river totaling more than $3 million, the $1.3 million phase two of the Mississippi Trail project and the completion of a multipurpose and recreation building in Welcome.
The industrial construction boom is continuing to positively impact the parish, Parish President Timmy Roussel said in his budget message to the Parish Council on Wednesday.
Construction of more than $4 billion in new industrial projects in various permitting and final engineering phases are projected to yield more than 800 permanent jobs with possibly 2,000 more indirect jobs, Roussel said.
Two of the major industrial projects set to begin construction in 2015 include South Louisiana Methanol and Yuhuang Chemical, Roussel said.
Property tax collections are the parish’s largest single source of income with an expected $16.9 million anticipated in 2015, about the same amount collected in 2014, according to the budget.
The parish has a “healthy rainy day fund,” and the budget’s proposed $70.8 million ending fund balance should cover the nearly $2 million difference in the budget’s expenditures and revenues, officials have said.
The parish’s new fiscal year begins Jan. 1.
Public hearings on the budget will be hosted at 6:15 p.m. Nov. 19 in Vacherie and at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 3 in Convent.
The Parish Council will host a line-item budget meeting Nov. 19 for the sole purpose of discussing the budget.