Will new buildings purchased by O.P.P.J. complicate 2021 general fund?

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OUACHITA PARISH, LA (KTVE/KARD) “Projected for 2021, it appears it would be a budget shortfall” says Shane Smiley, President of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury.

It’s one that comes from $1.3 million that is going to 3 buildings previously occupied by the Ouachita Parish School Board. The police jury needed to sign off on the buildings this year, as storage space is quickly running out for them at the Ouachita Parish Courthouse. The money is being taken from the jury’s general fund and was already approved in 2019.

“I would use the analogy of someone with their savings account” Smiley said.

This could show up as reduced funds for the general fund for 2021. But Smiley says they will be read financially next year.

“We have let the general fund balance build up somewhat. We’ve been very, very careful with our spending. and by doing so we’re able to purchase these buildings” Smiley said.

Keep in mind, this general fund only makes up about 5% of the jury’s total budget, with 95% going towards dedicated taxes. As far as the tax payer is concerned…”nobody should anticipate any kind of millage increase, or tax increase of any sort for that” Smiley said.

The police jury expects to be in the buildings sometime in the fall of 2021.

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