Tallulah officials work to get off of Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office list of “fiscally distressed municipalities”

Local News

UPDATE: TALLULAH, La. (11/13/19)– Almost 20 cities and towns across the state have been placed on a list for fiscal distress.

For the city of Tallulah, this isn’t surprising news. Mayor Gloria Hayden says the city has been in this cycle for the last 30 years. Since being in the office, she and the city have been working to make that change.

“We are on the right page now,” Mayor Hayden said. “We are moving forward Tallulah and we don’t need a fiscal administrator here. In my personal opinion we don’t need one because we are abiding by the law doing exactly what the law tels us to do.”

Auditors say being in this type of situation may cause towns to be unable to continue providing basic services for residents, like law enforcement or utilities such as water or sewer. Mayor Hayden says Tallulah residents don’t have to worry about that happening in their town.

“We have been giving the basic service and we have been able to give them better now,” Mayor Hayden said.

(Press Release) — The Legislative Auditor’s office has added a list of “fiscally distressed municipalities” to its website. The municipalities listed are ones that may not be able to continue providing basic services – such as law enforcement or water and sewer – to their residents in the near future.

In determining which municipalities would be placed on the list, the LLA analyzed each entity’s most recent financial information, as well as its financial trends compared to other municipalities. Other factors were considered as well, including:

  • Whether the CPA auditing the municipality was able to determine if financial information provided by officials was complete or accurate
  • Whether the CPA auditing the municipality was concerned that the municipality would be able to continue operating
  • Whether the municipality had more liabilities than assets and was able to pay its bills
  • Whether the Rural Water Infrastructure Committee identified the municipality as one with significant problems with its water system that could increase the risk of a public health emergency or the need for expensive repair and/or replacement of equipment

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said the purpose of the list is to give the public and state and local officials earlier notice of a municipality’s financial difficulties and start the fiscal rebuilding process as quickly as possible. “Our goal is to work with each municipality’s elected officials and to provide recommendations to place the municipality on a path to fiscal stability,” he said.

The list of fiscally distressed municipalities in our area includes:

  • Town of Jonesboro
  • City of Grambling
  • Village of Epps
  • City of Tallulah
  • Town of Lake Providence
  • Town of Newellton
  • Town of Winnsboro
  • Village of Waterproof
  • Town of Vidalia
  • Town of Tullus

To view the full list of all fiscally distressed municipalities, click here.

This list is different from the Legislative Auditor’s non-compliance list. The non-compliance list shows local governments that have not submitted a required financial report to the LLA by the statutory deadline or for which the CPA was unable to issue an audit opinion. The non-compliance list is at https://www.lla.la.gov/reports-data/non-compliance/index.shtml.

For more information, contact Bradley Cryer, assistant legislative auditor and director of Local Government Services, at 225-339-3800.

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