City of Crowley Facing Cutbacks if Budget Isn’t Passed Soon
The City of Crowley could be facing a bit of a budget crisis is city leaders can't agree on terms for a new budget by the end of the month. Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux released a statement yesterday that warned the city's department heads of the consequences of having to run the city with only half of the funding to do so.
Here is that statement from Mayor Monceaux:
It is necessary for me to place you on notice of an approaching deadline of August 31st to adopt a final budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021. If a final budget is not approved by the City Council on or before August 31st, then effective September 1st, the City will be required, by law, to operate at 50% of last year’s approved budget until the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget is adopted. Therefore, operating at 50% of last year’s budget forces me to impose a spending freeze to suspend certain purchases including vehicles, equipment, and other large ticket items for your departments. Consequently, should the City Council fail to act in the coming weeks and not pass a budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, it will force me to impose drastic spending cuts, and, as a last resort, employees will be furloughed.
State law requires that a municipality have an approved operational budget in place by the beginning of each fiscal year. If a municipality fails to create and approve such a budget then, by law, that municipality must operate at 50% of the last approved budget. At least until a new budget has been approved.
You've probably figured out that the City of Crowley has yet to approve and pass a budget, right?
A special meeting was held last night but the agenda made no mention of the city's budget. A motion to amend the agenda was made so that budget talks could move forward but it did not get the required votes to do so at last night's meeting.
According to a report on the KATC website, one council member said the first draft of the proposed budget should have been in the hands of the council last month. That same council member noted that the mayor and his department heads have still not met to discuss their needs in the upcoming fiscal year.
Crowley has already been forced to layoff 15 city employees and cut back hours for others. This happened back in April. The reason given for those layoffs and work reduction had to do with an estimated $1 million shortfall that the city was facing at that time.
Meanwhile, Mayor Monceaux continues to conduct city business from his home as he is currently recuperating from a diagnosis of COVID-19.