Last Modified: Saturday, August 09, 2014 2:10 PM
DERIDDER — Beauregard Parish has once again failed to submit its annual financial report to the state on time, and police jurors on Wednesday asked parish officials why.
“It’s embarrassing on us as a jury,” said Police Juror Rusty Williamson. “I don’t know what needs to happen, but we need to stop this.”
Beauregard Parish has asked the state legislative auditor for a filing extension in two of the last three years, said Police Jury President Gary Crowe.
Finance Committee Chairman Jerry Shirley asked police jurors and parish officials what they would do to ensure next year’s report makes it to the state auditor by the June 30 deadline.
Parish Secretary-Treasurer Tayra DeHoven said a computer crash in June 2013 set parish officials back months and bears some of the blame.
“We had to rebuild everything,” she said. “And through the several months past that, we found errors in the system — ghost journals is what they would call them — and we had to get them to fix and it just put things behind.”
Crowe said he and Parish Administrator Bobby Hennigan deserve some of the blame, but he didn’t say why.
Police Juror Llewellyn “Biscuit” Smith questioned the lateness, despite a normal monthlong time frame in which to complete the audit and a static due date.
“It takes a month or so to get an audit put together, four or five weeks,” he said. “And you all are going to rush in two or three or four. Who’s ringing the bell six weeks before June 30 saying, ‘We’ve got to go’?”
Shirley said the parish had trouble submitting the report on time because auditors had asked the parish to keep the year being audited open. The system doesn’t allow two years to be open simultaneously, DeHoven said, and that put the parish six months behind.
She said officials’ extension request was denied. The report is four weeks away from being completed, DeHoven said. As long as it’s on the legislative auditor’s noncompliance list, the parish will receive no state funding.
Hennigan said the freeze shouldn’t affect the Police Jury because the parish can move money as it needs to and can use the withheld funding to reimburse its coffers later.
He cited funding for roads from the state Department of Transportation and Development and work on renovating a community center in Fields.
Two new tankersfor Fire District 4
One Beauregard Parish fire department bought two new water-hauling tankers, replacing equipment that was about three decades old.
Beauregard Parish Fire District 4 was able to receive zero-interest financing from the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority to buy the 3,000-gallon tankers.
The volunteer fire department, which protects 3,000 properties and serves about 7,000 people, paid $248,000 for each of the trucks, which add 1,000 gallons of water to the district’s tanker capacity.
The authority provided the district with $75,000 in interest-free financing through its Zero Interest Local Government Bond Bank Program, saving the department $4,374 in interest, said LPFA executive Martin Walke.
Chief Donald Marshall of Pleasant Hill Fire and Rescue said the new trucks are more cost-efficient and will be safer for the firefighters. He said the tankers will even help improve the district’s fire rating, leading to reduced property insurance costs.
“By modernizing our tanker fleet over the last four years, we have increased our driver’s safety, raised our water-to-fire-site delivery amounts and drastically cut our maintenance costs,” he said.
Posted By: Dr. Agon On: 8/9/2014
Title: Banana Republic
This is crazy. The PJ beats as much responsibility for this financial debacle as the administrators if not more
Our tax dollars at work?
Step up PJ don't blame someone else. Either take care of this or step aside....please.