Harahan Council Balances 2014 Budget

HARAHAN, LA (AP) — The Harahan City Council got in just under the wire to bring the city's 2014 budget in line with its actual spending before the end of the year.

         The New Orleans Advocate’s Jeff Adelson reports most of last week’s two-hour meeting featured a touch of chaos, as council members debated proper protocols for passing the changes and tossed out occasionally conflicting figures they had calculated to fill budget holes.

         Several motions were proposed and approved only to be withdrawn and tweaked further, leaving city staff and clerks scrambling, though the changes in the roughly $6 million spending plan the council approved in the end were nearly identical to the ones members had first been presented a few weeks ago.

         The budget tweaks were needed to bring Harahan's budget in line with its actual spending for the year, after the city spent about $600,000 more than it had anticipated.

         A state law requires that budgets be amended before the end of the year if they are more than 5 percent out of line with how much has actually been spent.

         Officials say the balancing effort was eased by the fact that sales tax collections have exceeded projections.

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