2015 Budget for Terrebonne Parish Released

Bigger budget is due to increased business activity.

HOUMA, La. (AP) — Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet has unveiled an increased parish budget for 2015 that includes a 2 percent cost-of-living pay increase for parish employees.

The Courier reports the budget Claudet presented to the Parish Council on Wednesday totals $212.9 million next year and contains $22.4 million for five-year capital outlay project plans. These numbers are up from 2014 which had a 207.7 million budget that allowed for $19.71 million in capital outlay money.

Of that money, $13.8 million has been allocated for non-renewable special projects for the 2015 capital outlay budget.

Capital expenditures are used to acquire assets or improve the useful life of existing assets. This includes drainage, government buildings, road and bridge, recreation, economic development, utilities, sewer, public services and waterways.

The available money for next year has risen considerably thanks to increased business activity, Claudet said during his presentation.

"Despite the parish's vulnerability to hurricanes and land loss, our local economy continues to grow. During the first eight months of 2014, sales taxes, which are an indicator of economic activity, increased over 6 percent from that same period in 2013," Claudet said.

In spite of the optimistic outlook, Claudet said the administration will continue conservative budget practices.

As a means of keeping health care costs for employees and residents at a minimum, the parish will also continue to promote healthy living projects, health fairs and preventative care.

"In 2014 and 2015 it is our hope to expand the healthy work environment by going to smoke-free parish properties," Claudet said.

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