NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury will pay an accounting firm about $100,000 annually to establish better day-to-day financial practices and help the parish’s accounting staff.
The Police Jury decided Tuesday to pay Faulk and Winkler an additional $42,000 annually to provide a more thorough review of the parish’s cash disbursements, payroll processing and utilities oversight for billing and customer collections.
The parish pays the accounting firm about $58,000 a year to provide monthly budget reviews and accounting oversight, but in a more limited capacity.
The unanimous vote Tuesday to expand the accounting firm’s role comes a month after jurors adopted new policies on how the parish’s Recreation Department pays umpires, referees, score keepers and security staff for working games at parish facilities.
The parish historically paid umpires with cash without requiring signed documentation of receipt.
Juror Albert Dukes questioned the practice, bringing it to the jury’s attention that the practice could be illegal.
The Police Jury also came under fire in the past for selling the parish government’s old scrap materials to fund employee Christmas parties, and questions have been raised about more than $1 million in uncollected debts for customer accounts in its Utility Department.
“I understand what public bodies should be doing,” Tommy LeJeune, of Faulk and Winkler, told the Police Jury during its meeting Tuesday night. “If I’m going to do this, I’m going to take my responsibility very seriously.”
The move to expand accounting services provided by Faulk and Winkler came nearly a month after Juror Justin Cox tried to persuade the Police Jury to hire someone full-time in a new controller position.
LeJeune told Cox on Tuesday night it would probably be difficult for the parish to find a talented pool of individuals to choose from for the position.
“There’s a very thin talent pool; if I find them I’m going to hire them before you can,” LeJeune said. “With us, you get the skill sets of multiple people.”
Cox said he supported the effort and felt the Police Jury would recoup the additional money it’s paying Faulk and Winkler through greater overall efficiency in handling the parish’s books.