AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council accepted Tuesday and set for public hearing Parish President Gordon Burgess’s proposed $44.8 million budget for 2014.
In a letter to council members included with the budget proposal, Burgess wrote the parish’s finances are fundamentally sound.
He said the parish will continue to provide a wide range of services to its citizens without having to raise taxes.
The draft budget anticipates spending of about $10.5 million from the General Fund, which finances the operations of the District Court, District Attorney’s Office, public buildings, the parish Coroner’s Office, the Parish Jail and a number of other entities.
Improvements to parish roads and bridges account for 34 percent of the total expenditures in the budget.
The budget anticipates about $4.4 million in sales tax revenue in the coming year, with property taxes adding about $1.2 million to the parish coffers.
Federal grants, reimbursements and revenue from a wide variety of permits, licenses, commissions and other sources make up the remaining sources of revenue.
Burgess noted in the preface to the budget that more than $9 million was spent improving roads and bridges during the past year.
He also cited completion of the synthetic closure cap at the parish landfill as a major accomplishment.
The parish president anticipates spending about $4 million on road overlays in 2014.
Burgess added subsurface drainage and widening of Club Deluxe from Morrison Boulevard to La. 51 would be a priority in the fiscal year that starts Jan. 1.
The parish also anticipates completing construction projects at the Florida Parishes Arena and the new Environmental Services Facility in Hammond, he said.
The parish council will hold three public hearings on the proposed budget in the coming weeks.
No dates have been set yet for the hearings, said Councilman Bobby Cortez, a member of the council’s Finance Committee.
The parish charter requires the administration to submit a proposed budget by Oct. 15 and that final approval must be made at some time in December.
In other business Tuesday, the council set the official hours for “Trick or Treating” in areas outside municipal limits from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 31, and approved a resolution relocating Polling Precincts No. 109 and 111 from Amite’s West Side Middle School Gymnasium to the Tangipahoa Parish Library Amite Branch.
The council also approved an application for participation in the state Enterprise Zone program from Hammond Lodging, which plans to build a Courtyard Marriott Hotel near Hammond.
According to the application, the company plans to spend $5.3 million on the hotel and anticipates the creation of 45 new permanent jobs in the parish.