Independent Financial Adviser, Burton Kolder told the council Tuesday that he likes the budget in terms of surplus or money that has been saved. Kolder’s audit report reveals Lafayette Consolidated Government is moving in the right direction when it comes to the General Fund Balance.
“We like what we see here. Keep it up the good work. Rely on the information given to you by your staff and you can make the right decisions from that,” said Kolder.
Right decisions that Consolidated Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups plans to keep in motion. The audit report shows the City-Parish Fund Balance hefty enough to sustain local government for 33 days. Last year, the account only had operational funds for 27 days.
“This is the amount of money that the government would have to function in a period of an emergency event or economic downturn,” says Toups. Toups says the fund balance holds about $25 million. Several years ago, due to an economic downturn nationwide the account fell to about $9 million dollars.
“You heard a lot of governments up north go bankrupt or have a lot of trouble. Some still are having trouble. We don’t want to be in that situation.”
LCG President Joey Durel supports the recent audit report and plans to follow the advice of continuing to build up the reserve account. “I want to build it up, despite the fact that you see it building up and you want to use some of that money for things that you can do in your community; we knew we had to protect the future.”
Durel explains no pay raises were given for two years in a row. He says it was LCG workers who paid the price to financially shore up local government.
“They helped get us back where we are and we will over a period of time make that up to them. I feel good we’re in the right direction. I think we’re going to be on solid ground,” adds Durel.
Toups says the biggest reserve fund is the city fund – and that has 121 days of operational money.