St. Helena budget has surplus

The St. Helena Parish Police Jury on Tuesday adopted a budget for 2013 that would keep expenditures below projected revenue and add money back to the parish’s fund balance for only the second time in four years.

General and special fund revenue for 2013 are projected to total $6.8 million, compared with just under $5.8 million in expenditures, raising the parish’s total fund balance reserves from $5 million to nearly $6 million by year-end, according to a copy of the adopted budget provided by the Police Jury.

The general fund balance would rise from $289,000 to $305,000, while the special revenue fund balance would increase from $4.7 million to $5.7 million, according to the budget summary.

Accountant Terry Sibley, who prepared the parish’s proposed budget, said he estimated revenues conservatively for 2013, despite recent increases in severance taxes and other revenue realized in 2012.

The bulk of the budget, at $4.5 million in revenue and $3.5 million in expenditures, flows through the parish’s special revenue fund, where $1.5 million in ad valorem taxes and $2.1 million in sales taxes will be used to help support expenses of $2.2 million in public works, $466,000 in health and welfare and $340,000 in public safety, among other things, according to the budget summary.

The general fund, with $2.4 million in projected revenue derived mainly from gaming and state funding, includes $632,000 in expenses for public safety, $536,000 for finance and administration and $323,000 for judicial operations, according to the summary.

The Police Jury unanimously adopted the budget without discussion.