Lincoln Detention Center Budget Draws Questions

Introduction of an amended 2014 and proposed 2015 budget for the parish jail at this morning’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission drew a couple of questions about the format as presented.

Commission Chair Joe Henderson, who is also District Nine’s Lincoln Parish Police Juror (LPPJ) noted that the proposed amended 2014 budget didn’t show the original budget for 2014 to make a comparison.

Said Henderson, “We don’t see the original numbers by each category. Where is the original column?”

Jury Treasurer Dr. Bobby Gray noted that the center’s capital expenditures weren’t included in the agencies chart of accounts, nor were the source of revenues for the capital expenditures included.

Said Gray, “I think you have to roll the capital expenditures into this budget, and then offset if from the revenues coming from the city (Ruston) and from the (Lincoln Parish) Police Jury.” He added, “The auditors specifically need to see it.”

Louisiana’s Local Governmental Budget Act is specific on how budgets are to be prepared. LA RS 39:1305 – Budget Preparation states in part:

(2)(a) A statement for the general fund and each special revenue fund showing the estimated fund balances at the beginning of the year; estimates of all receipts and revenues to be received; revenues itemized by source; recommended expenditures itemized by agency, department, function, and character; other financing sources and uses by source and use; and the estimated fund balance at the end of the fiscal year. Such statements shall also include a clearly presented side-by-side detailed comparison of such information for the current year, including the fund balances at the beginning of the year, year-to-date actual receipts and revenues received and estimates of all receipts and revenues to be received the remainder of the year; estimated and actual revenues itemized by source; year-to-date actual expenditures and estimates of all expenditures to be made the remainder of the year itemized by agency, department, function, and character; other financing sources and uses by source and use, both year-to-date actual and estimates for the remainder of the year; the year-to-date actual and estimated fund balances as of the end of the fiscal year; and the percentage change for each item of information.

Commission member Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said the corrections would be made and distributed to each member.

Said Stone, “Mr. Chairman, if it’s ok, well just email all the members the corrected budgets, and then do a phone call.”

We pointed out that such a “phone meeting” would be a violation of the state’s Public Meeting Law.

The members realized that another meeting would be necessary for final adoption, and for the required public hearing. It was set for 10:00 AM, Friday, December 12.

See here the budgets as presented this morning.

The commission also approved minutes from the 9/22/14 meeting.

Asked about potential capital expenditures for 2015, Warden Jim Tuten said that a boiler replacement might be necessary, some of the kitchen equipment needs replacement, and that additional emergency electrical generating capacity is needed.

The total cost would be about $300 thousand, Tuten said.

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