Posted: Feb 17, 2012 6:22 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Feb 17, 2012 6:22 PM
St Landry Parish council members are fighting to fix the parishes budget problems. At the top of the list is making sure road projects are properly funded.
One resident said, "it's horrible all they do is patch them up and after they patch them up, then it gets worse."
St Landry Council Member Pam Gautreau said she hears complaints like this too often from residents. She's determined to cut parish expenses and put more money towards road projects, even if it means slashing salaries.
"It is not our personal money," she explained. "Its the tax payers money and they are demanding their money be used in the manner in which they choose to have it used for."
Two funds in the parish are supposed to be dedicated to roadways, the Evangeline Downs Racino Slot Tax and the Parish Transportation Fund, which totals to 3 million dollars. Gautreau said only about 300 thousand has been going towards actual road materials. She blames the previous administration.
" We want to know the money is being utilized properly , I don't want to pay big salaries when I need my road fixed," she said.
Even if the 3 million dollars does go towards improving roads, Gautreau said there's no way all the roads in the parish can be repaved, but things like potholes could be fixed much quicker.
She said they won't be fixed over night, but she's determined to get residents what they deserve.
Gautreau said, "we want things for St Landry Parish that all the other parishes have, we need to get it together."
A special finance meeting is set for February 29th. Parish President Bill Fontenot is to release his budget for the fiscal year. Then the council will decide what needs to be trimmed. That meeting is open to the public.