Lake Charles enjoys lower-than-expected budget deficit

By By Justin Phillips / American Press

As the city prepares to begin its new fiscal year ripe with proposed economic expansion, it will end the last on a high note

— carrying a deficit of less than $700,000 when the original budgeted amount was $2.57 million.

The news of the lower-than-expected deficit was highlighted during the City Council’s meeting to review the proposed operating

and capital outlay budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year Tuesday.

With local residents in attendance to

ask questions about the budget, Mayor Randy Roach laid out a proposal

conveying an understanding

of the present and an optimism for the future.

“A budget is merely an estimate,” Roach said. “We can pretty much estimate what our expenses are going to be.”

Roach then described how the complicated aspect on the other end is predicting how much revenue the city will generate during

the same period. In the proposed budget, this aspect of the equation relies heavily on the city’s scheduled growth.

“The good news: We have several major economic development projects scheduled to begin this fiscal year,” Roach said.

During the meeting, the city’s

operating expenditures were also covered. The city’s fire and police

departments account for

53 percent of the operating expenditures. When adding in public

works, the three areas account for 80 percent of the general

fund’s operating expenses.