CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury is taking action to get an earlier start than usual on the annual financial audit required by state law.

Turnover in the administrative offices and additional administrative work resulting from the August 2016 flood resulted in the 2016 audit being delivered Oct. 2, instead of on or before June 30 of this year.

The jury got an extension on the deadline because of the flood, but the report was unusually late and cost $8,500 more than the original price quoted by certified public accountant Bruce Harrell, who had to do additional work to ensure the jury's books balanced.

New Parish Manager Sonya Crowe told jurors last week that Harrell's firm can begin some work next month, more than 30 days before the fiscal year ends. The jury's fiscal year is the same as the calendar year.

Jurors approved a new audit contract with Harrell for $28,000, plus a $7,500 contract to examine and report on "statewide agreed-upon procedures."

The latter report is a new requirement in state law that will examine the jury's compliance with policies and procedures in such areas as budgeting, contracting, travel reimbursement, ethics, purchasing, keeping minutes, reconciling bank statements and managing credit card purchases.

On another matter, the jury created new positions of Department of Public Works director and assistant director, naming Louis Wallace to head the department at a beginning salary of $25 per hour. He will be assisted by Gwen McCoy, whose salary was increased to $21 per hour.