Sterlington sets a plan in motion to address $21 million debt

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STERLINGTON, La. (09/27/19) — You know the saying more money, more problems, and money has been a problem for the town of Sterlington. Friday, Mayor Caesar Velasquez says they’re finally looking up with the help of the fiscal administrator.

“I think we’ve got a good handle on majority of the debt,” said the mayor.

Sterlington faces a $21,000,000 debt and to address it there has been no shortage of ideas from taxes to signage at the ballpark, to sewer rate increases. At least for now — sales taxes are not in the immediate future.

“I don’t think that’s off the table yet we’re trying to do everything we can without raising the taxes especially now that we’ve raised the sewer rates,” said Velasquez.

Back in August, the Board of Alderman voted to raise the sewer rate to $47, now the fiscal administrator is proposing yet another increase raising the rate to $68.

However, Velasquez says they’re also doing some other things like looking at expenses before making them.

“There are some loans that have a 15-year bond and we’re trying to see if we can reconstruct them to a 40-year bond to extend the time frame and lower the payments.”

Mayor Caesar Velasquez

Sterlington’s fiscal administrator tells our partners at The News Star that there is a payment plan in place for $17,000,000 of the $21,000,000 debt. Sterlington’s fiscal administrator says they’re planning to address the remainder of that debt in the coming weeks.

“We’re working with the banks right now to make sure that we can solidify the plans to lower our outstanding debt for the year,” said Velasquez.

The second sewer rate increase to $68 is on the agenda for the October 8th meeting.

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